Great documentary that is totally recommended from one horror fan to another. This is director’s Tal Zimerman love letter to the genre and is much appreciated. A lot of it delves into horror’s popularity and why it has remained so popular from its origins in art and the written word to video games, comics, and film. He goes to great pains to show how fans are misunderstood. We are generally not the psychos that some of us appear. We just like being freaked out in a completely safe environment.
Something funny that Zimerman brings up is the movie Summer School with Mark Harmon which features these two horror fans that are basically the weird kids. In the film they do a lot of special effects and freak people out. It was a lot cooler than I am making it out to be. But I totally wanted to do that shit when I was a kid. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one as these characters were universally beloved among horror directors growing up at that time. Something else that is not quite as surprising but is cool is when they talk about the first movies that scared the shit out of them. Seems like more often than not that movie is The Exorcist. Yeah, I thought I was immune to horror before they rereleased it while I was in high school. No, I was not.
Not only does Zimerman speculate on why we like getting scared, he even talks to scientists and psychologists about the phenomenon. The most interesting part of his research is what one professor calls the “Snuggle Theory” which explains why its good to go to a horror movie on a date. Your endorphins get amped up and you tend to seek comfort from the one that is closest, in essence. Sounds like pseudoscience but I’ll roll with it.
The cameos he gets for the film are insane. big names like Eli Roth, John Carpenter, and George A. Romero do interviews, Elijah Wood does some narration, he also has lots of up-and-comers and many big names in foreign markets all talking about the “only genre that affects you the rest of your life.” Really makes me want to check out a con this summer and decorate my room with horror memorabilia. If you are fan of the genre, you’ll probably dig it.