Runtime: 1h 21m
Rated: Not rated
Directors: Nicolas Kleiman, Rob Lindsay
Writers: Rob Lindsay
Stars: Tal Zimerman, Eli Roth, George A. Romero
Initial: There are many narrative movies I might have chosen for “W” but I decided on this documentary. I often wonder myself, “Why horror?” (And I still wonder. Maybe I’ll post about that some day in the future.)
What Did I Think:
“Why horror?” is a big question and this documentary explores it broadly, but also focuses on Tal Zimerman’s personal history with horror.
Zimerman is an actor, writer, and a devoted horror fan. With the birth of his son, he began to wonder, why? Why did he find so much enjoyment and entertainment in things that might be seen as disturbing by others? *Is* there something wrong with horror fans? Or, is being an aficionado of the creepy okay, or even beneficial? Zimerman and filmmakers Kleiman and Lindsay talk to prominent industry figures and a cadre of academics.
Many theories are bandied around, and few answers are given. Fear, especially fear of the unknown, is a good evolutionary trait and maybe horror movies give us in the 21st century a way to fine-tune or safely test our fears. Maybe scary movies (and literature, video games, etc.) are a catharsis for the neurotic. Horror has been used in the teaching of moral lessons and also been seen as a moral danger. Maybe, everyone has a dark side and horror media is an acceptable way of expressing those darker urges. One of the more interesting bits was when Zimerman and his mother (not a horror fan) both watched horror clips while their physiological reactions were measured. Oddly enough, both had similar bodily reactions. The documentary also touches on how horror subjects are treated around the world. Really there is so much here that it could easily be multi-part series.
In the end, Zimerman notes that, despite it all, horror fans are more prevalent now and also more accepted as a fandom in general. For him, that sense of community, even when it was a community of outsiders, has been one of the best things.