Summer of Horror: In Search of Darkness The most comprehensive breakdown of 80's horror ever

I remember the IndieGoGo campaign for this documentary, when friends started sending me the first trailer what seems like years ago. Creating, completing, and releasing the movie was apparently a time-consuming, arduous process, and the results end up right there on screen in a truly epic examination of 80’s cinematic horror from several perspectives. In Search of Darkness is a long love letter to perhaps the most iconic single decade in horror history.

The entire thing runs nearly four and a half hours and is split up both by year and by subject. The idea was to cover every “notable” horror movie from each year of the 1980’s, and I guarantee you there are hardcore horror geeks out there watching this, furious that they left out their own favorite obscure Giallo movie or whatever the hell. As for me, I didn’t perceive any glaring omissions. Smaller movies may only get a passing mention from a commentator or two, while the iconic ones get extended explorations from both fans and folks directly involved with the production.

Speaking of commentators, they’re not lacking in that department. It would take too long to name all the notable faces that pop up here, but it’s got directors, actors, special effects guys, producers, YouTube personalities, bloggers and mega-fans. Of particular note is actor Tom Atkins, known for starring roles in Halloween 3, The Fog, Creepshow, Night of the Creeps, and others. He has a lot to say about a lot of movies in this doc, both his own and other notables, and has some entertaining stories.

Beyond just discussing films themselves by year, special segments are interspersed throughout covering topics such as practical effects, horror magazines, TV hosts and the like. Basically, every aspect of being a horror fan in the 1980’s is at least touched on here, if not explored in depth.

While I myself didn’t get into horror until well beyond the 80’s, I recognize that there hasn’t been any other decade that produced as many lifelong horror fans. This doc was clearly made by such people. Crowdfunding backers were able to grab it on blu-ray, but it’s now streaming on Shudder. It would have been nice to break it up into more manageable episodes just for streaming (10 episodes would have been nice), but I’m not complaining.

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