Welcome to The A-Z of Horror – an alphabetical window into the horror genre. Over the course of 26 days, I’ll be taking a look at horror in all its facets and forms, offering up suggestions of what to watch, should you be in the mood for a real good scare.
Today: D is for Documentary
One of the great things about the horror genre is that it is never-ending. Just do a quick Google search of horror movies and TV shows and you will find a huge wealth of material that you’ve probably never seen (or even heard of).
From the early days of cinema through to today, the horror genre has continued to create new and exciting stories which capture the imagination. But how do you keep track of the important ones?
Well, one of the best ways to learn about horror (outside of my handy posts) is to check out some of the horror documentaries that offer a greater insight into the genre. Documentaries range from real-life horrors, such as Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer (2003) and Beware the Slenderman (2016) to docs about key horror movies such as Halloween: The Inside Story (2010) and The Making of the Frighteners (1998).
Below I’ve listed three must-watch documentaries, which every budding horror buff should delve into. These will give you a greater appreciation of the genre and fill you in on some significant milestones.
A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss (2010) – Split into three parts, this BBC documentary series (which is currently on YouTube) covers the entire history of the horror genre, from the early days in ‘Part 1: Frankenstein Goes to Hollywood’, through to the Hammer years in ‘Part 2: Home Counties Horror’ and the US icons in ‘Part 3: The American Scream’. For those new to the genre, this docu-series is a horror bible.
Best Worst Movie (2009) – What is the worst movie ever made? Well, I’m pretty sure most people will have their own suggestions, but the general consensus is that Troll 2 (1990) is the worst of the worst. If you’ve never seen Troll 2, don’t worry, all you need to know is it’s terrible; however, it has provided the inspiration for Best Worst Movie – a documentary exploring the popularity of truly bad horror film.
Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy (2010) – One of the most popular horror series of all-time is the Nightmare on Elm Street series, which originally ran from 1984 to 1994. Think you know all there is to know about the films? Well check out this documentary to double check your knowledge. Running over 4-hours in length, this extensive documentary is as entertaining as it is exhaustive, but it really is unmissable.
Should you want more from the horror documentary genre, then check out Birth of the Living Dead (2012), Cropsey (2009), Nightmares in Red, White & Blue (2009), Room 237 (2012) and The American Nightmare (2000). And should you want a docu-series to devour, I urge you to watch Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (2015) – you won’t regret it.
Tomorrow: E is for…