I remember one day finding myself on Shudder looking for something to dive into and watch. And then stumbling onto In Search of Darkness. What I did not know at the time, was that it was a nearly 4 and a half-hour documentary about the horror films of the 80s, as we went year by year. Had I known, I might not have pressed play but I’ll be thankful that I did.
I’m not one that often puts on documentaries, I tend to be specific in the type of doc’s that I choose to watch. Ones about films – even more so as a genre, or decade – are definitely up there as something I’d enjoy and search for. So to realize there’s a documentary about both enticed me, quickly. I sat and watched the first film across three sittings, Shudder allowed me to stop and play where I left off. I was captivated, listening to critics, directors, actors talk about films that I love, or films that I’ve always wanted to see – and have them have honest conversations about both their impact and their relationship to the films themselves. When the film was over, I wish I sat down making a list of all the films that I saw. When I found out there was a second one, I sat down and watched it in one sitting and made the same mistake – I forgot to make a list.
The sequel felt identical to the first and it seemed that some of the interviews might have been recorded at the same time and that they had enough footage to make a second film that is exactly the same length. The truth is, the similar format doesn’t bother me at all. It absolutely works, and for me, I’m more curious and excited to see what all these talented folk have to say about the horror films, this time, we dive into more of the obscure horror films. Still beloved, ones we’ve all heard about, but not just the big slashers. There’s a bigger focus on Italian Giallo films which was very crucial to the 80s.
I suggest taking a week or two and watching both films. If you’re like me, and you’re interested in the history of film, and more so, the history of horror films. How it may have influenced all of our current favourite filmmakers and the extra context that went into them. These documentaries are also up your alley then. It also reminded me of an incredible documentary (Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street). I definitely have a type for documentaries.
Keep your eyes out for this one, and watch the first film on Shudder if you haven’t yet.
You can pre-order it now on 80shorrordoc.com while the Flash Sale is on-going. (Ends at Midnight on Valentine’s Day)