A chronological history of horror from the beginning of film to today, John Carpenter, Larry Cohen, Joe Dante, Brian Yuzna, and Mick Harris, among others, attempt to explain America’s fascination with Horror. The Documentary delves into the mindset of each decade, the internal fears of the population brought about by external sociopolitical forces, and the films that were successful at these points in time. It touches upon all the iconic horror films from each era – the earliest silent films, the Universal Monster films, the 50s sci-fi horror, the politically charged films of the 60s and 70s, and the overblown excess of the 80s. Each director also relays personal stories about the first horror film they had seen and how it had affected them. Highlights include comments by George Romero about his Living Dead films and Roger Corman about working with Vincent Price and his early gothic films. One of the fun sequences is a montage of every sex scene from every Friday the 13th film, set to a hard rock song, in music video style. The song concludes with the horrific kill scenes of all the characters we’ve just gotten intimately familiar with.
Lance Henriksen narrates the film. It is based on a book of the same name by Joseph Maddrey. Well made, nicely paced, and interestingly told, a fine tribute to American Horror. Worth a watch for every horror fan.