Wednesday, 12 September 2018
This tale from Figurehead is a bit of folk-horror, complete with rural traditions, belief in witchcraft, and a suitably disturbing ending.
Set in Wales, it sees a young man called Matt with a Dictaphone and a thesis to write, out collecting stories from elderly folk in a rural area. Meg is a local girl whose Gran would like to help, and together they hear her tale of a witch who's powers - real or imagined - ensured that villagers would leave her plenty of offerings of food, clothing etcetera. One day the witch somehow acquired a daughter, possibly adopted. When the witch died the child was left alone, until she too died in squalid circumstances.
That is the basic story. When Matt and Meg go up to the neglected cottage in the woods they expect simply to gather more information, a few pictures. Both are cheerfully sceptical about witchcraft and the like. But when Meg goes inside the house things start to go badly awry. It seems the witch and her daughter are both still active, and full of resentment at the outside world.
This would make a splendid TV one-off drama. I's an economical, efficient story with likeable characters, along with some disturbing scenes. It builds well from a sedate, domestic beginning to its horrifying climax.
More from this running review soon.