Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Monday, 3 December 2018

On a Thousand Walls #15: Edge of Darkness (1985)

(Spoilers as ever. But this is a piece of TV that's well over 30 years old, so frankly, who cares?)

One of the things that I've spent a deal of time looking at since this film and TV project became a serious thing, rather than just a movie marathon that got way out of hand, is how the conditions for cultural moments reproduce themselves, how a trope or a plot concern can be utterly of its time, and then some years later becomes really dated, and then a bit later still it looks utterly prophetic. And that feeds into this wider idea I have of folk horror as a hauntological thing, which is in short how we make movies about witches in the woods when we as a society are haunted by the feeling that history is unresolved, that the past has business with us.

And the difference between the urban wyrd (or the urban weird as I'm becoming more inclined to spell it) and folk horror is that the precise grounds for this discomfort, both literal and metaphorical, are different. The psychology of the urban landscape admits a different sort of haunting. I mean it's not even that an urban wyrd/weird story happens in a city as such: both Dead Man's Shoes and Helen, for instance, as well as Edge of Darkness, which I'm going to be looking at here, pivot on events in green spaces, but it's how the body politic intrudes on those spaces that makes for the status of the haunting.