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Brief Published: 10 Jun 2015

TV & Film Trends: Dark Myths

A slate of upcoming dark TV and film dramas brings the hauntological trend (examined in our Aesthetics of Hauntology report in 2013) into wider culture.

Season one of US TV show True Detective was the first mainstream presentation of the hauntological aesthetic – occult-infused, drawing on ancient myth, and playing with the idea of the past bleeding into the present. The second season returns on June 21, with episode titles set to include The Western Book of the Dead and Night Finds You.

Drawing on the same aesthetic, Regression is a horror movie from acclaimed Spanish director Alejandro Amenábar, starring British actress Emma Watson and set for release August 28. The trailer hints at the kinds of buried myths and half-seen terrors that inform many hauntological works – from UK film Berberian Sound Studio, to the Scarfolk blog (rumoured to be in development as a TV series) and recent Sky drama The Enfield Haunting.

As we await the return of American proto-hauntological series Twin Peaks (about to go into production with creator David Lynch back at the helm), Swedish drama Jordskott may help fill the gap. While a seemingly typical ‘Nordic noir’ cop show on the surface, Jordskott draws on Norse mythology to become something altogether stranger as it progresses. The show debuts on British channel ITV Encore this month.

For more on the hauntological trend, see our The Aesthetics of Hauntology report and the Hauntology at Merge Art Festival blog post.