“Where We Live” by Tim Cooke

"This land is laden with phantoms." This line from "The Dunes", one of the haunting and elusive stories from this intriguing collection, is the theme that underpins Tim Cooke's fiction. These interconnected stories - about an unnamed narrator and his mates as they grow through childhood, adolescence and to young manhood - are set in … Continue reading “Where We Live” by Tim Cooke

The Folk Horror Chain in Clive Barker’s “Books of Blood”

The Folk Horror Chain is a framework devised by writer and film-maker Adam Scovell in his essential study of the genre, Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange. For Scovell, Folk Horror can - among other things - be categorised as "a work that uses folklore…to imbue itself with a sense of the arcane for … Continue reading The Folk Horror Chain in Clive Barker’s “Books of Blood”

…but is it Folk Horror? “The Droving” (2020)

Is The Droving Folk Horror? I was asking myself this more and more the longer this (admittedly short¹) film went on. It certainly uses some familiar tropes: an outsider comes to a "remote" location; there are people wearing animal masks, and there are rumours of magic & ritual. Some moderate spoilers follow. Martin (a superb, … Continue reading …but is it Folk Horror? “The Droving” (2020)

Rural horror for kids! – “Marney the Fox”

Imagine "The Littlest Hobo" written by Ted Hughes... Marney the Fox was a two-page b&w comic strip featured in Buster from 1974-1976. It's been collated and nicely reprinted by Rebellion comics, who did a similarly good job on The Beatles Story (and other lost UK comic serials). Marney is a fox cub, orphaned in the … Continue reading Rural horror for kids! – “Marney the Fox”

Max Porter’s “Lanny” & Melissa Harrison’s “All Among the Barley”

First, let's agree on what these two stunning books are not. They are not Folk Horror, but they did grow in a neighbouring field. All Among the Barley by Melissa Harrison and Lanny by Max Porter are two of the finest novels I've read so far this year. They're part of a growing number of … Continue reading Max Porter’s “Lanny” & Melissa Harrison’s “All Among the Barley”

Clive Barker: “Candyman”, “The Forbidden”, Place, Race & Time

Bernard Rose's 1992 film horror Candyman was adapted by him from Clive Barker's 1985 short story "The Forbidden", published in volume 5 of the groundbreaking Books of Blood. Candyman transports the action from Barker's Liverpool to Chicago, specifically to the "projects" (US term for "housing scheme") of Cabrini-Green. In addition to the source material's look … Continue reading Clive Barker: “Candyman”, “The Forbidden”, Place, Race & Time