Youtube has become a juggernaut in online media with no sign of slowing down. The platform continues to grow and the amount of content available grows with it. One of my favorite things to do on the site is watching horror based documentaries. Today I’m sharing some of my personal favorites with my readers.
Note: The following are listed in no particular order.
Lovecraft: Fear Of The Unknown
H.P. Lovecraft was always a name I’d heard around in passing. I knew very little about the celebrated author, the name Cthulhu conjuring images of a giant, bulbous, tentacle-faced being without any real context. Many of my favorite creators have cited Lovecraft as an influence on their work at one point or another. Despite this, I had never felt an urge to read any of his published works. This documentary served as my introduction to the Cthulhu mythos, the Eldritch Gods, the expanse of Lovecraft’s work, and the man himself.
It’s partially a biography about the author and shines a light on the surprising way he interacted with his world. The documentary shows how events in his life informed his art, drawing direct correlations to his short stories. After watching this, the first thing I did was purchase a compendium of his short stories which are numerous.
I’m not sure I ever would have picked up the book were it not for this fantastic documentary. He was a true pioneer in horror literature, but went unappreciated and unnoticed during his lifetime. I rewatched this documentary with a more robust knowledge of the author and his work, yet I still found the film to be engrossing. Whether you’ve read Lovecraft or not, this film is well worth a watch. The film is an hour and thirty minutes.
The History Of Horror
Posted by Filmmaker IQ, a wonderful channel for anyone interested in the art of filmmaking or film theory, this thirty-minute video chronicles the journey of the horror film genre from inception to modern day. It’s a great rundown of the trends the genre has seen while introducing less seasoned horror fans to a world of classic horror they may not have known.
Nightmares In Red, White, And Blue
The first time I watched this documentary was on Netflix and it left quite the impression on me. The film spotlights American horror films and how they have captured the fears of their time. It’s no coincidence we’re seeing a resurgence at the cinema for modern horror. Get Out, a film reflective of the social issues we face in America today, has been dominating at the box office. It was made for 4.5 million dollars and grossed over 30 million in its first weekend, dethroning Lego Batman in a time when superhero films are the most prevalent genre films at the movie theater. Last year, big studio horror releases were some of the most profitable movies of that year.
Whatever your tribal affiliation, you can not deny there is a fog of underlying fear and civil unease in the country right now. We’re going to see more socially relevant horror films which is exciting for the genre. Before Nightmares In Red, White, And Blue, I would not have thought to think of the social relevance of a horror film, especially during the time periods I was not alive for. Many of my favorite films in the genre were made before I was born. I found the documentary to be enlightening on the fears of yonder year, but more importantly, it chronicles the mutation and sometimes bastardization of the American dream. The film is an hour and thirty minutes.
The Making Of The Thing
John Carpenter’s The Thing has become an iconic film in the eyes of many a filmgoer. Celebrated for its innovative special effects work and its use of paranoia to conjure up a deep layer of tension between characters, it is the ultimate success story of cult films. It was neither a critical success or a hit with audiences. It wasn’t until it made its way to home video that the film found an audience, which has continued to grow. It is now widely regarded as one of the best horror films ever made and one of the films that wormed its way into my cerebral cortex as a child. This documentary peels back the layers to show how the filmmakers created the seemingly impossible against all odds. The film is an hour and twenty minutes.
You can find all these and more on my Youtube playlist, Documentaries For The Horror Fan. Fair warning, I have not watched all the documentaries on the list. You can take a chance and watch them for yourself or wait for me to separate the good from the bad. If you liked any of these, please like, share, or comment on this post and on the Youtube channels they were uploaded to. Thanks and have fun, horror freaks!