David Evans-Powell

David Evans-Powell

Department of Film and Creative Writing
Doctoral researcher

Contact details

Thesis title: Sunlight and Terror: Mapping the characteristic contours of folk horror in British screen texts
Supervisor: Dr James Walters
PhD Film Studies


David graduated in a BA (Hons) History with Ancient History and Archaeology from the University of Birmingham in 2003, and has worked since then in the cultural and higher education sectors. He currently working as Donor Engagement Partner for the Development and Alumni Relations Office at the University of Birmingham while completing his PhD part-time. 


David has taught on the subjects of horror genre, British cinema, genre theory, film para-texts, close analysis, national and transnational cinema, in the following modules:

  • Introduction to Film
  • Film Genre
  • International Summer School, Film & Creative Writing


Despite the popularity of folk horror over the past decade, it has been subject to little sustained academic interrogation. Most existing study has been written predominantly by fans and journalists in the form of survey and web-article. The premise for most current work has been predicated upon three key sources: a 2003 interview with The Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971) director Piers Haggard for Fangoria; the second episode of Mark Gatiss’ 2010 series A History of Horror; and the Folk Horror Chain theory proposed by Adam Scovell at the 2014 A Fiend in the Furrows conference and developed in his 2017 monograph Folk Horror: Hours Dreadful and Things Strange. While there has been some critiquing of these sources they have, for the most part, been limited, and the assertions they make continue to dominate discourse. These sources deserve further interrogation. They provide too a narrow definition of folk horror, one that privileges too restricted a field of texts, makes implicit judgements about style and form, marginalises television texts, excludes non-British traditions, and draws too little attention to the differences between folk horror texts defined in retrospect and those created consciously. My thesis will present a new framework for characterising folk horror that will move away from these narrow bases. It will be expressed metaphorically as a cartographic exercise, creating an alternative to the causal structure of the Folk Horror Chain to a more fluid framework that allows for equitable consideration across narrative and aesthetic elements, and film and television texts.

Other activities

David has presented the following papers:
  • Haunted Landscapes and Temporal Terrors in 1970s British television' at the At Home with Horror:  Terror on the Small Screen conference at the University of Kent in October 2017.
  • Mind the Doors! Folk Horror in the cinematic London Underground' at the Urban Weird conference, a collaboration between Supernatural CitiesandOpen Graves Open Minds, at the Hertfordshire University in April 2018.
  • 'Hesitation, repetition and deviation:  The temporal nightmares and haunted landscapes of British television' at the Screening the Unreal conference at the University of Brighton, and again at theAfter Fantastika;conference at the University of Lancaster, both in July 2018



Online articles