Devanny, David (2023) THE CURSE OF THE CURSIVE: THE HORROR OF THE HAND IN FOLK HORROR FILM TYPOGRAPHY. In: Folk Horror: New Global Pathways. University of Wales Press, Wales. ISBN 9781786839794

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Abstract / Summary

This chapter analyses typographic design, and the use of typefaces more broadly, in Folk Horror films. The chapter focusses on typography in the title and closing credits, within the films themselves, and in both contemporaneous and subsequent promotional materials. The analysis includes original 1970s films such as The Wicker Man (1973) and Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971) among contemporary films which revisit the genre such as Midsommar (2019). The chapter considers the prevalence of typographic design inspired by carvings and drawings by hand, as well as hand-drawn or ‘daubed’ writing, and explores the horror of the bygone and the curse of the cursive, in the contexts of craft and handicraft. Paratexts, such as titling typography, operate as ‘thresholds to interpretation’ (Genette), creating atmosphere and performing as a vestibule for expectation. Horror films have a rich association with typefaces inspired by hand crafted modes of writing and often make use of glyphic typefaces (tapering typefaces inspired by stone carving), calligraphic typefaces (inspired by pen and ink calligraphy), blackletter or gothic typefaces (inspired by medieval illuminated manuscripts), or indeed hand drawn typefaces resembling claws, beasts and dripping blood. This trend continued in the 1970s when typographic design was dominated by clean, modernist, mechanized sans serif font design, or decorative typefaces drawing on Art Nouveau patterns. Establishing for general context the use of typography in classic horror films more widely, this chapter will then proceed to analyse the use in Folk Horror specifically and asks the question why has handicraft become associated with Folk Horror?

Item Type: Book Section
ISBN: 9781786839794
Subjects: Film & TV > Film > British Film
Communication > Graphic Design
Courses by Department: The School of Writing & Journalism > English & Writing
Depositing User: David Devanny
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2022 10:22
Last Modified: 27 Jul 2023 10:58


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