Mid-80s documentary about horror, taking place at a theatre. Hosted by Donald Pleasence and Karen Allen, it takes a serious look at the genre—with clips. Movies examined include When a Stranger Calls, Halloween, The Birds, Rosemary’s Baby, Night of the Living Dead, Carrie, Jaws, Poltergeist, Scanners, Psycho, Alien, and The Omen. Among ideas explored are horror as a cathartic experience, what makes horror so scary, and the notion of women as victims.
My major gripe about the film is that eventually it seemed like it was all clips and no analysis—particularly the montage of villains. My favorite part of the film was actually the commentary; the film is packed with dynamite quotes like, “It’s only a movie. But sooner or later, it’s time to go home.” “You can always close your eyes. But you can’t close your ears.” And my favorite, “A moonlight swim in the nude is definitely a bad idea.” I also loved the scene of Pleasence yelling at a villain on the movie screen: “Get him!” Give it a look if you’re in the mood for an amusing—but thoughtful—look at horror movies.