The Best Documentaries About Horror

We’re going to spend a lot of this month talking about fiction. Most of it, in fact. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t take a look at something a little closer to real life. If you’re joining us on this month-long delve into the dark depths of cinema, chances are, you’re as fascinated by the horror genre as we are – and that means, you might want to spend a little of your spook season looking into the real world behind it. Here are our favourite documentaries about horror, because why not learn something amongst the scares?

  • 1. Hail to the Deadites

If there’s one thing that I love more than anything about the horror genre, it’s the fans. And Hail to the Deadites, while it’s a love letter to the fandom of the Evil Dead franchise in particular, feels like a nod of acknowledgement to all of us gore-obsessed idiots. More than that, though, it’s a really sweet reminder of all the passion that goes into creating franchises like this one, and the love that the fans share in response to it – from special effects creators to actors to cosplayers and everything in between, Hail to the Deadites is a salute to the people who sustain the world of horror cinema.

2. Horror Noire

It’s not exactly a hot take to say that black creators have been sidelined for way too long in mainstream cinema, and horror isn’t free from those issues, either. Horror Noire is an attempt to rectify that, an engaging deep-dive into the history of black people in horror cinema. Finding that balance between the history of black horror cinema and analysis of the cultural forces that influenced it, you’re going to want to bring your notebook, because you’re going to come out of watching this with twenty new films you want to see.

3. Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street

I‘ve written a little before about the place that Nightmare on Elm Street 2 has as a piece of queer history – but who better to tell you about it than the people who made it that way? Specifically, this excellent doc follows the life and times of Mark Patton, the lead in the aforementioned sequel, who was closeted at the time of the movie’s release, and how it’s place as an iconic LGBT horror changed the course of his own life. It’s a really interesting look into this very specific slice of horror history, and Patton makes for a totally compelling centrepoint around which this strange little story revolves.

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By Louise MacGregor

(header image via Bloody Disgusting)

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