Scotland – new home of horror?

“Here then are the stories written on the Book of Blood. Read, if it pleases you, and learn.

They are a map of that dark highway that leads out of life towards unknown destinations. Few will have to take it. Most will go peacefully along lamplit streets, ushered out of living with prayers and caresses. But for a few, a chosen few, the horrors will come, skipping to fetch them off to the highway of the damned.”

- Clive Barker, “The Book of Blood.”

Two virtually identical articles recently hit the Internet, suggesting that Scotland is the new place to be when it comes to making horror films: one is “Horror stories: Scotland now a top location for film-makers raising hell” by Brian Ferguson; the other is “Could Edinburgh be a world capital for horror films?” by Brian Pendreigh.

The articles are obviously inspired by a sort of Q-text (presumably a press release) about the news that an adaptation of the introductory story from Clive Barker’s Books of Blood has begun filmming in Edinburg. Doug Bradley (Pinhead in the HELLRAISER films) will star in the Book of Blood adaptataion, which is being produced by Barker’s Seraphim Films. Both articles use the singular form “Book of Blood” in reference to the film production, but neither states that is the actual title. No other details are available, and some roles are still being cast.

The articles also sight recent productions such as DOG SOLDIERS and THE DESCENT, both by Neil Marshall. Marshall is currently working on another film, DOOMSDAY, and there is also an apocalyptic zombie flick called OUTPOST in production (although the later’s story is set in Europe).

Why the sudden surge in Scotland? Each article offers an explanation.

From Ferguson’s article:

Rosie Ellison, spokeswoman for Edinburgh Film Focus, the city’s locations agency, said: “Horror films are very much in vogue at the moment, and there’s been a real growth in their popularity in the last few years.

“Somewhere like Edinburgh is virtually a ready-made set for a horror film, with its underground locations and twisty historic streets. There’s real potential there for Scotland to attract more horror films.”

Film writer and producer Mark Cousins said: “Scotland has a huge number of great gothic locations and visually stunning places.

From Pendreigh’s article:

Ros Davis, of Edinburgh Film Focus, the local locations agency, said: “The architecture and setting of Edinburgh particularly lends itself to the horror film genre. The grand architecture of the New Town next to the darker alleys and multi-layers of the medieval Old Town give directors great visual metaphors to play with.

“Recently horror films have proved to be extremely popular and we are hopeful that Book of Blood will gain international success and encourage more films to base in Edinburgh.”

About the Author

Steve Biodrowski

Cinefantastique's Los Angeles Correspondent from 1987 to 1993 and West Coast Editor from 1993 to 1999. Currently the webmaster of Cinefantastique Online, I also run a website called Hollywood Gothique that covers Halloween Horror and Sci-Fi Cinema Events in the Los Angeles area.

2 Responses to “ Scotland – new home of horror? ”

  1. [...] again, we have an example copycat articles inspired by a press release. (For a previous example, click here.) This time, the news is that Hammer Films, the production company behind classics like CURSE OF [...]

  2. [...] Production of this film was announced (apparently prematurely) when a couple of Scottish newsites ran articles about Scotland’s growing popularity as a location for making horror films. See our post on the topic here. [...]