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2017: Andrew – The Corn Mother 42/52

The Corn Mother novella weekly serialisation artwork

Over the last five or six years I’ve noticed this phrase folk horror turning up more and more when I’ve searched for The Corn Mother online. It’s a particular niche area of culture that focuses on a sense of the rural and folk culture as having an uncanny flipside. The film The Wicker Man seems to be a particular touchstone and recurring reference point for it all.

There are books, albums, social media groups, all kinds of things that are being called folk horror.

And given the subject matter of The Corn Mother it’s not a huge surprise that is has started to be referenced in connection with folk horror. It’s even on this huge list of folk horor-esque film and television that’s been put together at one of the main online film websites. It’s at number 37 in a list that runs to several hundred. Which surprises me as it seems impossible to see, so I suppose it’s there more because of the intrigue that surrounds it, rather than as a comment on how good or relevant to folk horror the film is.

For years I’d half-hope each time I wandered into a video rental shop that I’d one day see The Corn Mother on its shelves but that’s unlikely to happen now. I might find it somewhere but its unlikely to be a rental shop. The entire landscape of how people watch films has changed a lot over recent years. Video rental shops were once nearly as ubiquitous as corner shops but now they’re nearly all gone, as people more and more watch stuff online. Even the big corporate chain Blockbuster shut its doors.

For a decade or two there were various mailorder rental DVD companies here and abroad but now there’s just one of those left in the UK.

I suppose to a degree you could say video rental has been nationalised as some local council run libraries still rent them out but I think the days of that being the case are somewhat numbered.


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