I do enjoy watching documentaries, but when it comes to reviewing them I’m usually at a bit of a loss. I don’t think there is such a thing as an all-encompassing documentary on any given topic, but this one really hits close to the mark. This is folk horror through the ages, around the world and explored from the perspective of filmmakers, screenwriters and everyone else that has a say in the matter. For fans of the genre, this is a must see.
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror (2021) is written and directed by Kier-La Janisse. What we get here is a comprehensive and extensive coverage of almost everything you need to know of the popular horror sub-genre. I specially found the exploration of horror films from all parts of the world fascinating because of the common parallel themes that exists. Also, I suggest you cancel any trips to the country that you were planning for next weekend.
The abundance of material is both interesting and overwhelming. To cover it all, this documentary dedicates three hours where I am sure it’s actually trimmed down from even lengthier footage. Unfortunately, that length posed a rather daunting task to watch. I have to admit it’s way too much for one sitting. Perhaps the biggest binge fan would have no issues, but I had to stop and start. I don’t think I could’ve lasted through it in a single run.
Strongly recommended for horror fans with one reservation, its length. It’s a lot to take in at once, so I was glad for the online screening because anybody but the biggest fan of folk horror won’t make it the whole way through in one sitting. I did love some of the sections more than others, but I couldn’t help but feeling this would work better as a mini-series. That being said, I am sure there’s an audience out there that will eat the whole thing up in a single night. Your mileage may vary, but if folk horror is your thing this is mandatory viewing.
That will do for now.