Woodlands Dark And Days Bewitched: A History Of Folk Horror

Directed by Kier-La Janisse

Virtual Screening


Official selection

South by Southwest Film Festival 2021
Oslo Pix Film Festival 2021
International Rotterdam Film Festival 2021


SXSW - Audience Award, Midnighters


Kier-La Janisse


Kier-La Janisse


Robert Eggers, Lawrence Gordon Clark, Piers Haggard, Alice Lowe, Jonathan Rigby


Jim Williams


Winnie Cheung, Benjamin Shearn


Ashley Thorpe


Severin Films

USA 2021 192 mins OV English/Portuguese Subtitles : English
Genre HorrorDocumentary

“Everything you always wanted to know about pagan blood sacrifices and the lingering psychic traumas of colonialism (but were afraid to discover for yourself)”
– David Ehrlich, INDIEWIRE

“It is Janisse and her panel's critical assessments that make WOODLANDS worth seeking out immediately. Astounding.”
– Josh Hurtado, SCREEN ANARCHY

“Strange things found in fields, lights flickering in dark woods… [...] The Devil having a cup of tea with you.” Folk horror is a riveting genre that keeps on reinventing itself, and has yet to be properly dissected. Starting with the “unholy trilogy” – WITCHFINDER GENERAL (1968), BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW (1971), and THE WICKER MAN (1973) – then travelling to all continents and beyond, finally ending up in our era with Ari Aster and co., no stones are left unturned in the most extensive folk-horror documentary to date.

Winner of a Midnighter Audience Award at SXSW, WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED navigates through 200 films and 50 interviewees, including Robert Eggers (THE VVITCH), Alice Lowe (PREVENGE) and Piers Haggard (BLOOD ON SATAN’S CLAW), to name a few. WOODLANDS DARK is produced by Severin Film’s David Gregory, masterfully edited and precisely paced. A groundbreaking work, extensively researched and made over a period of many years, and, cherry on top, features an eerie paper collage sequence by Canadian treasure Guy Maddin. As for the director herself, Kier-La Janisse, she’s the author of acclaimed House Of Psychotic Women, founder of the Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies, film curator, critic, producer – Janisse has proven time and time again that she is an infinite well of wisdom and knowledge on all things within genre cinema. In her own words, WOODLANDS DARK “investigates the many ways that we alternately celebrate, conceal and manipulate our own histories in an attempt to find spiritual resonance in our surroundings.” How about that?

Don’t be intimidated by its three-hour running time, you and I both know you’ve binged on Netflix docu-series for longer than that! Besides, never once will you look at your clock. Janisse’s deep dive into the uncanny sucks you in and never once fails to captivate. – Celia Pouzet