In Search of Darkness confirmed what I already knew all along; the eighties really was the best decade for horror. The impressively long documentary – which is just over four hours long, but don’t let that put you off – provides a year-by-year overview of the most influential films that came out and includes interviews from fans as well as the people involved in the films. It boasts an impressive line-up of guests to share their stories such as John Carpenter, Doug Bradley, Kane Hodder and Joe Dante just to name a few.
As someone who unfortunately didn’t get to experience the magic of eighties horror at the time myself (not being born yet made this kind of difficult), I particularly valued the insight the documentary gave into the political and societal context of the films. It managed to provide a clearer understanding of the significance of the titles and their places in horror history. It’s a must-watch for horror fans who, like me, want a glimpse into a past they never got to experience, but also gives a nostalgic look back for those who lived through it.
In Search of Darkness also doesn’t ignore lesser-known/cult films, and one of the aims of it seems to be to keep them alive to be appreciated by future generations. The current horror community seems to be in favour of this goal as well, which was shown in their support of the Indiegogo fundraiser to produce the doc. This isn’t just a nostalgia party – it’s a celebration of the genre, the fans, and the work of the most iconic filmmakers whose influences we’re still seeing continue so prominently now. Furthermore, it’s wonderful to see special effects artists getting all the love they deserve in this and seeing some snippets behind the scenes of their work is particularly special.
Director David Weiner did a great job putting such an ambitious throwback together, and it’s obvious it all comes from a place of nerdy love. I give it a Very Groovy rating and highly recommend to any horror fan. Although a little pricey, you can always justify the purchase like I did by thinking about the fact that it’s pretty long so it’s almost like you’re paying for 2 normal length films in one. Information about where to stream can be found here.