But then I found it later that same day on Shudder. I couldn’t believe my luck. After a year of looking, I finally have easy access to it. When did that happen? “All right.” I thought. “Let’s go.”
In Search of Darkness is one of the few horror documentaries out there. Directed by David A. Weiner, this flick focuses on the horror movies of the 1980s. There are only a handful of others like it, such as Nightmares in Red, White, and Blue and Horror Noir (Both fabulous documentaries that I highly suggest), but In Search of Darkness goes deep. I’m talking four hours deep.
This movie takes things “first date” slow. Going through each year individually, then focusing on two or three movies within that year, In Search of Darkness is stuffed with talking head interviews from all of your favorite horror film directors, actors, and special effects artists. These interviews recount personal experiences on each film and how that film or subgenre affected our society. These interviews certainly have room to explain and theorize the horror genre. While these interviews are gold to a horror fan, it borders on overload.
I’m going to make this easy. I’ll list the pros and cons of this film below.
Nostalgic – Great 80s graphics and use of individual films’ original trailers or ads.
They interview all the greats for this – John Carpenter, Greg Nicotero, Joe Dante, etc.
The interviews are inter-cut generously with scenes from the movie being focused on.
This film is four hours long. I had to watch in between two sittings.
Okay, so there’s only one bad thing about this movie, and it’s the running time. I get it. A filmmaker needs space to put in all that information, but after a while, it tires the viewer. I loved every minute of my two-sitting viewing, though.
I give this documentary 4 out of 5 spooks. I love the 80s vibe and watching people close to my favorite films talk about them on such a personal level. What I didn’t love is the running time. If it could have been cut in half, maybe make it a two-part film, it would have been better. Despite this, though, I definitely recommend it for horror-lovers and film buffs alike.