Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched Is the Only Folk Horror Documentary You Ever Need to See

Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched Is the Only Folk Horror Documentary You Ever Need to See
A scene from 1967 Soviet horror film Viy, as seen in Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched. (Image: Severin Films)

We said something very similar when we reviewed Kier-La Janisse’s Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror at SXSW earlier this year, but don’t be put off by its running time, particularly if you have any interest in the folk horror genre. Yes, 192 minutes is a lot of minutes, but the movie is so comprehensive it needs all of that time to contextualize its subject matter with interviews and clips galore. Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched is coming off its well-received festival run and will soon be available to wider audiences. Gizmodo is thrilled to be debuting its new trailer today.

Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched arrives on VOD on October 26; it will also roll out for limited theatrical bookings and even more festival play dates throughout the fall (check the film’s official website for updates). It comes to home video on December 7, and Severin Films is already anticipating anyone who comes away from a viewing determined to watch as many of the films highlighted in the documentary as possible by offering up a massive Blu-ray box set.

“All the Haunts Be Ours: A Compendium of Folk Horror” contains “19 of the best-known, least-known, rarely-seen and thought-lost classics of folk horror from around the world, all restored from the best available vault elements,” according to a press release, plus special features galore for each individual film, a copy of Jim Williams’ wonderful Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched soundtrack, and more.

You can learn more about that here, but since we know you’re curious, the 19 films included in the box set (along with Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched, of course, which comes with its own raft of extras) are: 1983’s Eyes of Fire, 1973’s Leptirica, 1970’s Witchhammer, 1967’s Viy, 1958’s Lake of the Dead, 1987’s Tilbury, 1988’s The Dreaming, 1988’s Kadaicha, 1989’s Celia, 1981’s Alison’s Birthday, 1983’s Wilczyca, 1970’s Lokis: A Manuscript of Professor Wittembach, 1991’s Clearcut, 1963’s Il Demonio, 1993’s Dark Waters, 2012’s A Field in England, 1993’s Anchoress, 1974’s Penda’s Fen, and 1970’s Robin’s Redbreast.

The Blu-ray set costs $US170 ($230) and is available for pre-order now ahead of its December 7 release; if you really want to go folk-horror wild, there’s also limited-edition “Witches’ Bundle” for $US224 ($303) that includes the box set plus a bunch of other spooky goodies, including a poster, a melamine plate inspired by the 1969 British TV series The Owl Service, a key chain inspired by Witchhammer, and more.