WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED

poster WEB

WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED is the first feature-length documentary on the history of folk horror, exploring the phenomenon from its beginnings in a trilogy of films – Michael Reeves’ The Witchfinder General (1968), Piers Haggard’s Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971) and Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man (1973) – through its proliferation on British television in the 1970s and its culturally specific manifestations in American and international horror, to the genre’s revival over the last decade.

While exploring the key cinematic signposts of folk horror – touching on hundreds of films, television plays and episodes as well as early inspirational literature – the film also examines the rise of paganism in the late 1960s, the prominence of the witch-figure in connection with second wave feminism, the ecological movement of the 1970s, the genre’s emphasis on landscape and psychogeography, and American manifestations of folk horror from Mariners’ tales and early colonial history to Southern Gothic and backwoods horror. Finally, the film navigates through the muddy politics of folk nostalgia. The term ‘folk horror’ is a loaded one, and WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED explores the many ways that we alternately celebrate, conceal and manipulate our own histories in an attempt to find spiritual resonance in our surroundings.

The directorial debut of House of Psychotic Women author Kier-La Janisse, Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched is produced by Janisse with David Gregory and Carl Daft of Severin Films  and due for release in 2020.

Featuring original collage animation by acclaimed filmmaker Guy Maddin, readings by folk horror icons Ian Ogilvy and Linda Hayden and interviews with over 40 filmmakers, writers and historians, including Piers Haggard (director, Blood on Satan’s Claw), Lawrence Gordon Clark (director, A Ghost Story for Christmas series), Jeremy Dyson (co-founder, The League of Gentlemen), Alice Lowe (director, Prevenge), Robert Eggers (director, The Witch), Ian Ogilvy (actor, Witchfinder General), Sean Hogan (director, The Devil’s Business), Adam Scovell (author, Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange), Andy Paciorek (founder, Folk Horror Revival), Howard David Ingham (author, We Don’t Go Back: A Watcher’s Guide to Folk Horror), Jonathan Rigby (author, English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema), Kat Ellinger (Editor, Diabolique Magazine), Samm Deighan (Editor, Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin), Darren Charles (Unearthing Forgotten Horrors Podcast), Pete Tombs (author, Mondo Macabro), Jasper Sharp (author/filmmaker, The Creeping Garden), Sam Dunn (BFI Flipside), Pentagram Home Video, Vic Pratt and Will Fowler (authors, The Bodies Beneath), John Cussans (author, Undead Uprising: Haiti, Horror and the Zombie Complex), John Cameron (composer, Psychomania), Bobbie Watson (Comus), Sam Waymon (composer, Ganja & Hess), Mark Wilkinson (composer, Blood on Satan’s Claw), Jim Williams (composer, A Field in England), Mitch Horowitz (author, Occult America), Mark Pilkington (founder, Strange Attractor Press), Geraldine Beskin (owner, Atlantis Occult Bookshop), Gail-Nina Anderson (lecturer, The Lit & Phil, Newcastle), Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (author, Rape Revenge Films: A Critical Study), Maisha Wester (Associate Professor, African American and African Diaspora Studies at Indiana University Bloomington), Briony Kidd (founder, Stranger With My Face Film Festival), Chad Crawford Kinkle (director, Jug Face), Katrin Gebbe (director, Pelican Blood), Mariano Baino (director, Dark Waters), Emma Tammi (director, The Wind), Teresa Sutherland (writer, The Wind), Abraham Castillo Flores (director of programming, Morbido Film Festival), Mattie Do (director, The Long Walk), Amanda Reyes (Made for TV Mayhem), Jesse Wente (director, Indigenous Screen Office), Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer (directors, Pet Sematary 2019) and more.

Read about the film in Entertainment Weekly HERE >>
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About the author:

Kier-La Janisse

Kier-La Janisse is a film writer and programmer, founder of Spectacular Optical Publications and The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies. She has been a programmer for the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema and Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas, co-founded Montreal microcinema Blue Sunshine, founded the CineMuerte Horror Film Festival (1999-2005) in Vancouver, was the Festival Director of Monster Fest in Melbourne, Australia and was the subject of the documentary Celluloid Horror (2005). She is the author of A Violent Professional: The Films of Luciano Rossi (FAB Press, 2007) and House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films (FAB Press, 2012) and contributed to Destroy All Movies!! The Complete Guide to Punks on Film (Fantagraphics, 2011), Recovering 1940s Horror: Traces of a Lost Decade (Lexington, 2014) The Canadian Horror Film: Terror of the Soul (University of Toronto Press, 2015) and We Are the Martians: The Legacy of Nigel Kneale (PS Press, 2017). She co-edited (with Paul Corupe) and published the anthology books KID POWER! (2014), Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s (2015), Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin (2017) and Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television (2017). She edited the book Warped & Faded: Weird Wednesday and the Birth of the American Genre Film Archive (forthcoming), and is currently co-authoring (with Amy Searles) the book ‘Unhealthy and Aberrant’: Depictions of Horror Fandom in Film and Television and co-curating (with Clint Enns) an anthology book on the films of Robert Downey, Sr., as well as writing a monograph about Monte Hellman’s Cockfighter. She was a producer on Mike Malloy’s Eurocrime: the Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the ’70s and Sean Hogan’s We Always Find Ourselves in the Sea and her first film as director/producer, Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror is due out from Severin Films in 2020.

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