Beasts of the Forest: Denizens of the Dark Woods offers its readers an in-depth and interdisciplinary engagement with the forest and its monstrous inhabitants; through critical readings of folklore, fiction, film, music video and animation.
Within the text there are a multitude of convergent critical perspectives used to engage and explore fictional and real monsters of the forest in media and folklore. The collection features chapters from a variety of academic perspectives: film and media studies, cultural studies, queer theory, Tolkien studies, mythology and popular music are featured. Under examination are a wide range of narratives and media forms that represent, reimagine and create the werewolves, witches and weird apparitions that inhabit the forest, along with the forest as a monstrous entity in itself.
Whether they be our shelter and safe-haven or the domain of malevolent spirits and sprites, forests have the capacity to horrify and threaten those that venture into them without permission. Human interference has continually threatened forests across the world, yet this threat is reversed in myth, folklore and more recent cultural forms. This collection ranges widely to analyse how forests figure in contemporary culture, as well as the wider contexts in which such representations are inserted.
1. Ferocious Forests
1.1 Richard Mills 'You're already in Hell': Representations of the Forest in Wolf People's video Night Witch (2016)
1.2 Elizabeth Parker 'That Awful Secret of the Wood': Venturing Beneath the Deep Dark Forest
1.3 Fodor András In the shadow of the Lovecraftian forest: the haunting arborescent space in Brian Catling's The Vorrh
2. Denizens of the Woods
2.1 Jon Hackett Long in the Tooth? Werewolves of a Certain Age
2.2 Benjamin Dalton Got wood?: Cruising the queer forest with Alain Guiraudie
3. Tolkein's Forests
3.1 Brad Eden Trees and Tolkien: Reflections between medieval and modern reverence
3.2 Leticia Cortina Aracil Shadow Shrouds and Moonlight Veils The Forest as an Existential Scene in Tolkien's Legendarium
3.3 Damian O'Byrne The Fiendish Forests of Middle-earth: Tolkien's Trees as Villainous Adversaries