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All the Haunts Be Ours: A Compendium of Folk Horror - Box Set Blu-ray Review

All The Haunts Be Ours: A Compendium of Folk Horror Box Set

Folk Horror.  The very combination of the words suggest a clash of ideologies and, true to its nature, this seems to be its roots.  It is a concept of evil so entwined with the land that it is damn near impossible to ever tear its threads clean.  The voices in the woods; the pagan ceremonies on the edge of town, the artifacts found buried long ago, and so on.  The list of what Folk Horror could be is endless and exhausting.  It is also, if you are a fan of the horror genre itself, quite fascinating.

"collection of 19 of the best-known, least-known, rarely-seen and thought-lost classics of folk horror from around the world - DEMANDS your undivided attention"


 

Which is why Severin’s new box set, All The Haunts Be Ours: A Compendium of Folk Horror, - a collection of 19 of the best-known, least-known, rarely-seen and thought-lost classics of folk horror from around the world - DEMANDS your undivided attention.  There is a lot of horror history here and, due to its beutiful presentation, cannot simply be digitized and streamed whenever you feel like watching.  Hold this box set.  Cherish it.

Opening with a thought-provoking three-hour documentary - which includes fascinating commentaries from all the heavy-hitters in the genre - Kier-La Janisse’s award-winning Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched is a wonderful way to begin this journey into the darkest of woods known to the civilized world.  The exhaustively-researched film is both enlightening and entertaining as we get looks at The Unholy Trinity which started the sub-genre: Michael Reeves’ Witchfinder General, Piers Haggard’s The Blood On Satan’s Claw, and Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man.All The Haunts Be Ours: A Compendium of Folk Horror Box Set

Sure, the main points in folk horror can be drawn back to the Silent Era (namely The Golem, The Phantom Carriage, and Haxan), but clearly the sub-genre which relies on characters from communities outside of the civilized world with which to do its supernatural bidding took flight with those three films as the fringe found more victims as the lush countryside.  

But Janisse’s documentary isn’t content to let the British filmmakers have all the time.  There is so much more in this world of isolation and identity.  Culled from over 50 interviews and touching on over 200 films in the genre, this documentary is truly impressive as it showcases the efforts from American, Asian, Australian and European horror, including the genre’s revival over the last decade with films like The Witch

As a film, this documentary is a damn show-stopper.  As a lead-in to the films which follow, it merely whets the appetite for the tales of folk horror which follow on separate discs in the set.  Sit tight.  The list is exhaustive and brilliant.

5/5 stars

 

All The Haunts Be Ours: A Compendium of Folk Horror Box Set

Blu-ray Details

Home Video Distributor: Severin Films
Available on Blu-ray
- January 25, 2022
Screen Formats:
Subtitles
:
Audio:

Discs: Blu-ray Disc; 15-disc set
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

DISC 1:

WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED

Kier-La Janisse, USA, 2021

192 mins | 1.85 | Color | Region Free

English and Portuguese with English subtitles

Stereo

HD Digital Master 

Dark WatersWOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED explores the folk horror phenomenon and its culturally specific manifestations in international horror, from its first wave in the 1970s to today.

Special Features:

DISC 2:

Eyes of FireEYES OF FIRE

Avery Crounse, USA, 1983

86 mins | 1.85:1 | Color | Region Free

English Mono | Closed Captions

4K restoration from the original negative

The seminal American folk horror film, unavailable on home video for decades, now debuts in a new 4K restoration. A rogue 18th century preacher and his followers make their way downriver to establish a new settlement beyond the western frontier and encounter a forest enchanted by strange spirits that will bring an apocalyptic madness upon them.

Special Features:

DISC 3:

leptiricaLEPTIRICA

Djordje Kadijevic, Serbia, 1973

65 mins | 1.33:1 | Color | Region Free

Serbian mono with optional English subtitles

HD master from Public Service Media Radio Television of Serbia

Based loosely on by Milovan Glišić’s classic 1880 Serbian vampire story After Ninety Years – which preceded Bram Stoker’s Dracula by nearly two decades – Djordje Kadijevic’s adaptation is a subversive, darkly erotic take on Glišić’s pastoral tale of a group of rural villagers beset upon by the infamous vampire Sava Savanovic, who has taken up residence in their local flour mill.

Special Features:

DISC 4:

WitchhammerWITCHHAMMER

Otakar Vávra, Czechoslovakia, 1970

107 mins | 2:35:1 | Color | Region Free

Czech mono with optional English subtitles

HD restored master supplied by the Czech Film Center

Otakar Vávra’s film about 17th century witch hunter Jindřich František Boblig and the horrors he visited on the small village of Velké Losiny has been called an Eastern European counterpart to Michael Reeves’ WITCHFINDER GENERAL and Michael Armstrong’s MARK OF THE DEVIL.

Special Features:

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VIYVIY

Konstantin Ershov, Georgiy Kropachyov, Soviet Union, 1967

76 mins | 1.33:1 | Color | Region Free

Russian mono with optional English subtitles / English mono

HD restored master supplied by Mosfilm

Based on the classic novella by Nikolai Gogol, VIY remains the height of Soviet fantasy cinema. In 19th century Russia, a seminary student is forced to spend three nights with the corpse of a beautiful young witch. But when she rises from the dead to test his faith, it will summon a nightmare of fear, desire and the ultimate demonic mayhem.

Special Features:

DISC 5:

Lake of the DeadLAKE OF THE DEAD

Kåre Bergstrøm, Norway, 1958

77 mins | 2.40:1 | B/W | Region Free

Norwegian mono with optional English subtitles

Restored in 2K from the original negative

Considered a classic of Norwegian cinema, a group of colleagues venture to a remote cabin to look for a missing friend and are spooked by an old legend: that the cabin had belonged to a man who killed his sister and her lover and then drowned himself in the lake. Since then, it is said that anyone who stays in the cabin will be driven to the same fate.

Special Features:

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TilburyTILBURY

Viðar Víkingsson, Iceland, 1987

57 mins | 1.33:1 | Color | Region Free

Icelandic mono with optional English subtitles

Restored in 2K from the original negative at the Film Museum of Iceland

This made-for-TV film shares the Icelandic lore of the Tilbury, a creature who could be summoned by women in times of financial hardship and starvation. But the gifts of the Tilbury come with their own brand of destruction. Set in 1940, during the British occupation, a country boy discovers his childhood sweetheart is having an affair with a British soldier, but suspects it could be one of the evil creatures.

Special Features:

DISC 6:

The DreamingTHE DREAMING

Mario Andreacchio, Australia, 1988

90 mins | 1.85:1 | Color | Region Free

English mono | Closed Captions

Restored in 2K from best surviving 35mm positive print 

When a group of Indigenous activists attempt to repatriate ancestral artifacts found in a cave on Australia’s Kangaroo Island, one of them is shot evading police and taken to a local hospital. When the patient dies in her care, the doctor attending to her experiences strange visions relating to violent events from the past.

Special Features:

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KADAICHAKADAICHA

James Bogle, Australia 1988

88 mins | 1.85:1 | Color | Region Free

English mono | Closed Captions

Mastered from only surviving broadcast quality video master

Though conceived as a commercial horror film, this tale of teens being condemned to death in their dreams by an Aboriginal magician as recompense for a housing development having been built on a sacred burial ground also serves as an admission of national guilt.

Special Features:

DISC 7:

CeliaCELIA

Ann Turner, Australia, 1989

103 mins | 1.85:1 | Color | Region Free

English mono | Closed Captions

Restored in 2K from 35mm original negative

In 1950s Australia, after 9-year-old Celia hears the disturbing fairy tale of “The Hobyahs” in school, it colors her interpretation of real life conflicts such as her parents’ struggling relationship, the threat of communism and the country’s plague of rabbits. Ann Turner’s award-winning film paints a disquieting picture of innocence trying to make sense of the harsh and complex world around her through escape into dark fantasy.

Special Features:

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Alison's BirthdayALISON’S BIRTHDAY

Ian Coughlan, Australia, 1981

97 mins | 1.85:1 | Color | Region Free

English mono | Closed Captions

Restored in 2K from 16mm CRI

Getting its first official release since the VHS era, this Australian paranormal cult is unearthed! During a Ouija board session with her teenaged friends, 16-year-old Alison gets a message from beyond the grave not to go home for her 19th birthday. Fast forward three years later to the week of her 19th: she gets a call from her mother that they’re having a party to celebrate and they want her there… alone.

Special Features:

DISC 8:

WILCZYCAWILCZYCA

Marek Piestrak, Poland, 1983

103 mins | 1.33:1 | Color | Region Free

Polish mono with optional English subtitles

Restored in HD from original negative by WFDIF in Warsaw

A domestic hit in Poland on first release, Marek Piestrak’s stunning wintry werewolf film is a sexually-charged folktale that pits a 19th century Polish patriot against the ghost of his unfaithful wife, who haunts him from beyond the grave as a she-wolf.

Special Features:

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LOKIS: A MANUSCRIPT OF PROFESSOR WITTEMBACHLOKIS: A MANUSCRIPT OF PROFESSOR WITTEMBACH

Janusz Majewski, Poland, 1970

100 mins | 1:66:1 | Color | Region Free

Polish mono with optional English subtitles

Restored in HD from original negative by WFDIF in Warsaw

A pastor and ethnographer visits a remote corner of 19th century Lithuania where folk customs associated with the area’s pagan past still have a hold on the population. There he finds himself the guest of a strange old family consisting of a sadistic Count and his mad mother, who—legend has it—was raped by a bear on her wedding night; the Count himself reputed to be the product of this bestial assault.

Special Features:

DISC 9:

ClearcutCLEARCUT

Ryszard Bugajski, Canada, 1991

98 mins | 2.35:1 | Color | Region Free

English 5.1 / English 2.0 | Closed Captions

Restored in 4K from 35mm answer print

A white lawyer arrives to a remote area in Northern Ontario to defend Indigenous activists who are blocking a logging company’s clearcut of old growth on their land. A pacifist by nature, and perceiving himself as sympathetic to Indigenous concerns, he finds his values shaken when he is paired with an angry, rogue Indigenous activist named Arthur (Graham Greene) who insists on kidnapping the head of the logging company to take him deep into the forest—where he hopes to teach him the price of his destruction.

Special Features:

DISC 10:

IL DEMONIOIL DEMONIO

Brunello Rondi, Italy, 1963

98 mins | 1.85:1 | B/W | Region Free

Italian mono with optional English subtitles

Restored from the original negative at RAI TV in Rome

A stunning story of obsessive love, set in a rural Southern Italian village where Christianity has integrated many of the old superstitious beliefs. Daliah Lavi (THE WHIP AND THE BODY) plays Purif, who is distraught when her lover is betrothed to another. Her erratic behavior is interpreted as demonic possession—leading the villagers to turn against her with physical and sexual violence.

Special Features:

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Dark WatersDARK WATERS
Mariano Baino
, Russia/UK/Ukraine/Italy, 1993

89 minutes | 1.85:1 | Color | Region Free

Italian stereo with optional English subtitles

Mastered in HD from the original negative

In Mariano Baino’s groundbreaking debut, a young Englishwoman drawn to an island in the Black Sea in an attempt to discover her mysterious connection to a remote convent—a crumbling edifice that has been constructed over a labyrinth of Lovecraftian horrors.

Special Features:

DISC 11:

A FIELD IN ENGLANDA FIELD IN ENGLAND

Ben Wheatley, UK, 2012

90 mins | 2.35:1 | B/W | Region A

English 5.1 / English 2.0 | Closed Captions

HD Digital Master

During the Civil War in 17th-Century England, a small group of deserters flee from a raging battle and are captured by an alchemist who forces them to help him find a hidden treasure. Crossing a vast mushroom circle, which provides their first meal, the group succumbs to the terrifying energies trapped inside the field.

Special Features:

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anchoressANCHORESS

Chris Newby, UK, 1993

108 mins | 1.66:1 | B/W | Region A

Closed Captions

Mastered in HD by the British Film Institute

Based on the true story of Christine Carpenter, a 14th-century peasant who becomes transfixed by a statue of the Virgin Mary, and petitions to be walled into a cell attached to the church as a religious hermit. Alone in her cell she receives dark and sensual visions, while in the outside world, her defiant mother (played by musician Toyah Wilcox) is accused of witchcraft.

Special Features:

DISC 12:

PENDA’S FENPENDA’S FEN

Alan Clarke, UK, 1974

90 mins | 1:33:1 | Color | Region A

English mono | Closed Captions

Mastered in HD by the British Film Institute

Alan Clark (Scum) directs David Rudkin’s epic tale of myth and identity whereby a sanctimonious Vicar’s son has a spiritual and sexual awakening after being visited by a series of angels, gargoyles, and the ghosts of Edward Elgar and a long-dead Pagan King. Penda’s Fen is the most magical of ALL British Folk Horror films, what Scholar Sukhdev Sandhu called “A lasting vision of heresy and pastoral horror.”

Special Features:

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Robin RedbreastROBIN REDBREAST

James MacTaggart, UK, 1970

76 mins| 1:33:1 | B/W | Region A

English mono | Closed Captions

Mastered from BBC protection tape master, the only surviving element

Veteran British chiller writer John Bowen penned this legendarily terrifying BBC teleplay, now considered a precursor to THE WICKER MAN. Nora Palmer moves to a quiet village in England after a break-up. The locals are warm enough at first, but their sinister intentions are gradually revealed. Is Nora paranoid or is she the center of a wicked pagan plot of indescribable horror?

Special Features:

BONUS CDs:

WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED

ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK

Composed by Jim Williams

THE WHITE PEOPLE

By Arthur Machen

Read by Linda Hayden

Music by Timothy Fife and Missionary Work

Arthur Machen’s hugely influential short story, first published in 1904, in which a discussion between two men on the nature of evil leads to the revelation of a mysterious Green Book—the diary of a young girl, in which she describes her initiation into a secret world of folklore and magic. Here the story is brought vividly to life with an incredible reading by Linda Hayden (BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW) and a remarkable original score.

Obviously, you do not want to miss out on the tales and treasures included with the release of All The Haunts Be Ours.  Also included is the 126 page book which carries the namesake of the blu-ray set.  This is beautifully-illustrated book designed by Luke Insect features new writing by Andy Paciorek, Stephen Volk, Mitch Horowitz, Dawn Keetley, Sarah Chavez, Stephen R. Bissette and Dejan Ognjanović alongside a selection of illuminating archival pieces and a breakdown of all the films in the set.

Set to be released on January 25th of next year, pre-order this release now at Severin by clicking here: https://severinfilms.com/shop/folk-horror-box/!

Blu-ray Rating

  Movie 5/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 5/5 stars
  Extras 5/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

5/5 stars

 

Art

All The Haunts Be Ours: A Compendium of Folk Horror Box Set

 

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