5 Horror Documentaries You NEED to Watch This Halloween
As October descends upon us, horror fans will find themselves glued to the television, watching new and classic films alike. Obviously, Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and The Evil Dead will all be watched and rewatched this season, but we believe it’s time you expand your horror movie horizons. Documentaries are a perfect avenue for this, as some of the scariest stories are ones that actually happened. Additionally, some documentaries feature backstories of some of our favorite movies, offering new insight into classic favorites. For your consideration, we have compiled a list of the 5 best horror docs to watch this season. Some will entertain, some will inform, but all are bound to give you a fright. Hold your girlfriend (or boyfriend) close, ladies and gentlemen, as we dive into the 5 Horror Documentaries You NEED to Watch This Halloween.
5) Cropsey (2009)
We’ve all heard the story or, at least a story about Cropsey, a boogeyman who kidnaps and murders children. It seems as though every generation has an iteration of Cropsey, but there has never been any concrete evidence of his existence. Filmmakers Josh Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio set out to change that. Armed with a video camera and a wealth of rumors, Zeman and Brancaccio attempted to uncover the mystery of Cropsey. This journey led them to the story of Andre Rand, a convicted kidnapper of children. Is Andre Rand the real Cropsey? This doc is full of creepy stories, fun imagery and a ton of twists and turns. It’s the perfect documentary to watch at midnight, when the kids are tucked in bed.
4) Beware the Slenderman (2016)
Slenderman is a fictional (or is he?) urban legend, first appearing as a ‘creepypasta’ on a Reddit Thread. According to legend, the Slenderman is a faceless ghoul with tentacle-like arms and a pretty sharp suit. Recently, a film came out depicting the Slenderman. It wasn’t good. Or interesting. Or scary.
What was scary was the HBO documentary, ‘Beware the Slenderman,’ which told the story of two 12-year-old girls who lured their friend into the woods, before stabbing her over 19 times. This was done, allegedly, to appease the Slenderman. At least, that’s what the girls involved said.
This documentary is as fascinating as it is horrifying. Slenderman is not real, but his effect on real people is, and this documentary is proof of that. The girl who was stabbed survived and the girls who did it are in a correctional facility, but how many more people have been influenced by the legend known only as the Slenderman?
3) Never Sleep Again (2010)
The Nightmare on Elm Street franchise is one of the longest-running and most (infamous) franchises in horror movie history. Giving life to the dream demon known only as Freddy Krueger, A Nightmare on Elm Street and all of its sequels have been terrifying dreamers for the past 35 years.
Never Sleep Again is a documentary that explores the history of the Elm Street Franchise. It features interviews with Wes Craven, Robert Englund and various other cast members, directors, producers and more that were involved with all 8 original films. The remake is not covered as much, because it sucks, but this is an intriguing look at one of horror’s most beloved franchises. It’s nearly 4 hours long, but you will never find yourself being bored by what you’re watching. This is the measuring stick when it comes to documentaries about horror movies and it is made with the love and passion that only true fans could offer.
2) The Nightmare (2015)
While we’re on the subject of nightmares, we would be remiss if we didn’t include this truly terrifying documentary from director Rodney Ascher. The Nightmare tells the story of eight people who experience very real, and very scary sleep paralysis- a condition which leaves them unable to move, speak or react, even as horrible creatures that only nightmares can create descend upon them. Including real interviews and reenactments of dreams, The Nightmare is scarier than many actual horror films. The reenactments, especially, will leave audiences with nightmares of their own. This is not a documentary to watch by yourself because, if you do, and you fall asleep, who will wake you up?
1) The American Scream (2012)
Halloween is not always supposed to be scary. Sometimes, it can be fun. In a perfect world, it can be both scary and fun. This is why haunted houses are created. The American Scream is a 2012 documentary that showcases the residents of Fairhaven, Mass. as they prepare to turn their little town into a horror hub, the likes of which has never been seen before. The American Scream shows what it’s like to really get into the Halloween spirit. You think your neighbor overdoes it? This is an ENTIRE TOWN that gears up for Halloween. The great thing about this documentary is that it shows how much people really care about this holiday. It’s impossible to watch this film and not get into the Halloween spirit yourself.