The Season of Folk Horror: The Wicker Man + Whistle and I’ll Come to You – Double Bill
This Halloween we are exploring the sub-genre of Folk-Horror. Three evenings across the end of October dedicated to movies that explore our fear of nature, our forgotten history and our own dark humanity.
Released in 1973 The Wicker Man has since become the definitive Folk Horror masterpiece and one of the most enduring films in British cinema. Sergeant Howie (Edward Woodward) arrives on the small Scottish island of Summerisle to investigate the report of a missing child. A conservative Christian, the policeman observes the residents’ frivolous sexual displays and strange pagan rituals, particularly the temptations of Willow (Britt Ekland), daughter of the island magistrate, Lord Summerisle (Christopher Lee). The more Sergeant Howie learns about the islanders’ strange practices, the closer he gets to tracking down the missing child.
After The Wicker Man we will be treating you to a very exclusive screening of the M.R. James ghost tale Whistle and I’ll Come to You from 1968. Michael Horden stars in this short (clocking in at 40 minutes) but staggering film, originally broadcast on BBC television. This chilling story is still remembered for it’s haunting simplicity and unforgettable final scene. Cinematography from Dick Bush, who also worked on Folk Horror classic Blood on Satan’s Claw, perfectly combines the picturesque solitude of the British coast with the encroaching doom of long buried horrors.
When an arogant academic (Michael Horden) takes some time away to a quaint seaside village he whiles his days away with long walks on the beach. While investigating a Templar ruin for a colleague, he finds a whistle with unknown inscriptions and takes it for himself. Dismissive of local folk tales that tell of lingering spirits he joyfully returns to his hotel, but the cost of taking what isn’t his may prove to be a higher price than he can pay…
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Run Time: 135 minutes