In Search of Darkness (2019) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
45 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Doesn't live up to the hype
rivertam2624 February 2020
There was so much hype surrounding this with those brilliant crowd fund trailers. It would truly be hard for it live up to its promise. What stands is a decent effort but fails to offer anything really new and doesn't spend nearly enough time on any of the films and skips so many amazing gems of the decade. That being said it's decently entertaining but I would have preferred a ten hour cut instead of the four and a half one this is.
21 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
joezeph15 April 2020
I was looking forward to this documentary, but after slogging through almost four and half hours, I'm disappointed. There are too many titles missing, too much time spent on the usual Freddy and Jason series, and the titles they do include are given short shrift.

It seems like the creators were going for quantity over quality. And some of the talking heads are a little tough to take, especially the obnoxious James Janisse from the Dead Meat channel. He's obviously reading his lines, and trying to sell them like a used car salesman.

Seeing John Carpenter was cool, but we learn almost nothing new from him here.

While this is an ambitious attempt to document 80's horror, it misses the mark.
25 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
In Search of Substance
Celestron198015 December 2019
Wow! 4.5 hours of 80's horror behind the scenes, interviews and clips! That's gotta to be quintessential, right?

Well.. no. Not at all actually.

What should've been THE definitive 80's horror doc left me on my appetite.

As a huge 80's horror fan myself, I have to say I was rather disappointed in how this movie didn't meet the expectations its massive advertising campaign created.

For each year of the decade clips from very few selected movies are shown and some of the guests (only solos) say something about it during 1 to 5ish minutes.

Throughout each year segment, other topics are brought up such as: music, nudity, etc..

The guests lineup is rather thin. Some top of the barrel big names directly involved in horror movie making in this decade and some (many) less relevant participants (I mean, Corey Taylor. Really?) that are basically rephrasing something taken from the trivia section or only saying which kill they preferred in Nightmare 4.

Speaking of which, I know the A Nightmare on Elm Street and the Friday the 13th franchises are monuments of the genre but, I feel they were given too much screentime on this movie. Especially since they both already have their own extensive and thorough documentaries.

During the 270 minutes of In Search of Darkness, I learned nothing new. There is nothing here that had not already been seen and said many times.

It's sadly extremely superficial.

And this made me wonder: who is this movie for? Horror fans will be disappointed with its abysmal lack of substance and non-initiated will be turned off by its duration..

At a price of 70$USD, I feel this movie should've been so much more than what it turned out to be.
48 out of 72 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It's ok
derekaldous1 March 2020
Way over hyped and over priced. I've heard the same things from the same directors for years. Nothing really new other than a few annoying personalities. The Dead Meat podcast guy is kind of overbearing in this. It was ok. Not worth $60.
18 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Talking heads quickly summarise movies and say they're good
tantry122 July 2020
Sadly that's really all it is. It's great to see some of the faces but they don't really have anything interesting to say.

They give a quick intro on what the 80s was like and then 7 minutes in they start listing movies, giving a short description and saying they like them over alternating shots of talking heads and clips from the movie.

The first movie is The Fog. You get 3mins, 5secs of talk about The Fog. This is a transcript I made for you. -----

John Carpenter: After Halloween I had a deal with AVCO Embassy to make two films and the first one turned out to be "The Fog". It was a ghost story conceived on a trip to England and Stonehenge. I said to Debra Hill, man it's really amazing here. And a fog bank at the time was off in the distance. "I wonder what's in there?" we said. I was gonna get hired for horror films, that's what was gonna happen, 'cause that's where I had a hit. So off we went.

Tom Atkins: You know, it's kind of an old-fashioned ghost story. It's not big, gory, scary stuff.

Carpenter: The Fog was shot up in Point Reyes, California. It was a beautiful area.

Atkins: My dear friend Adirienne Barbeau, she spent the entire time up in that tower and so we were never ever on screen together. Jamie Lee: she's hitchiking and the first thing she says when she gets in the car is "Are you weird?"

-brief clip of the Are you weird? moment-

Atkins: Then I offer her a sip of beer and then they cut and there we are in bed. Just like that. It's that easy 'cause I'm smooth. Hah! I don't think it bothered her to get on that scream queen path as long as she thought she might be able to get off of it. And she did.

Nick Castle: The Fog has Nick Castle as the lead! That's the name of the character in it! I also remember that very fondly because as you pan across inside Adrienne's room she's holding a baby and that's my son.

Atkins: The guys that come out of the fog at the end, into the church, take Hal Holbrrok to heaven. Or hell. Somewhere.

Andre Gower: The seaweed dudes: did not like. Did not like the seaweed dudes at all.

Atkins: They look great in their seaweedy ooky outfits. Big box fans and fog machines at the end of a street trying to make enough fog to look eerie and creepy, threatening, the slightest breeze took it all away and then... to start over again, to build it up and get it going...

Carpenter: That was re-vamped after we finished it as it didn't work and the script was changed.

Atkins: It didn't get going quick enough, somehow.

Carpenter: I was... that was a nightmare. I don't ever want to do that again.


And that's it. That's the level of insight you can expect. Hell, I'd say you get a bit more from The Fog than most of them - they hint that there's an interesting story about post production. They don't tell you anything about it but you know something interesting happened so that's something. And they don't waste a tonne of time telling you how much they like The Fog, something that happens on a lot of the other films.
11 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
So many good movies, but no real focus.
gulag27 May 2020
In Search of Darkness sounded like a great idea to examine the horror films of the 1980's and maybe ask why it was the kind of epoch it was. But soon after it started I could feel what was going to happen. Essentially it goes year by year and looks at the films that essentially there were interviews for. Which was quite a bit, granted. But I immediately noticed that there was no organizing principle. No historical examination. No critical perspective. And at well over 4 hours that is a great fault. I'm sure fans of the idea of the 80's as the great decade of horror films, I'm not one of them, will just be happy to see so many favorites mentioned. Very much a fan effort that just goes on and on. Lots of useful information. But no narrative at all. You could stop the film at any year and walk away and not feel compelled to come back. Again unless you are an 80's horror fan. Period. And we seem to have bred fans who can only deal with exhaustive compendiums. (You'll probably see lots of comments lamenting films not discussed below.) But I was looking for the meat.

To deal with the 80's properly you'd have to discuss it's prehistory in the films of the 70's. And how the 80's changed the formulas. Then you'd have to deal with the films by subject. So starting the 80's off with a section on Slasher films would have been a good place to start. Really examining the effect of make up and prosthetics on the craft of storytelling would have been good. Some of this was dealt with, but in a slight and simple way. There are no real horror historians interviewed. And there are lots of anecdotal interviews about what happened on the sets. So again history and context is rarely mentioned.

There were a couple of very large oversights. One being the original Evil Dead. It was barely mentioned during the discussion of Evil Dead 2, but it was a very important film for the age. And they had Joe Bob Briggs whom I'm sure would have loved to discuss it. (His essay on it is brilliant.) Then where was Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer? A film whose struggle to be seen gave us the signs of changing times. And why did this era end? Was it just because the calendar changed? (More 80's style horror films were made into the 90's.) Did films like Henry or Silence of the Lambs have anything to do with it?

And it becomes very clear that the second half of the 80's is filled with loads of sequels and jokey horror films. And frankly isn't nearly as crucial as the first half. No discussion of a diminution of quality? Everything is essentially the same. What about the larger cultural disgust with the blood and gore in the films, which came to a head by mid-decade? And why did certain films get so slagged off, The Shining, The Thing, etc, to later be seen as classics?

I applaud the film in many ways for getting so many interviews. And yet for being so long it just meandered without a real introduction or conclusion. Why were the 80's important to horror films and to society? The answer is not found here. But it is an enjoyable film if not so meaty.
12 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not a proper documentary
happyspaceinvader9 May 2020
I was expecting an insightful documentary... what I got was 4 hours 20 minutes of talking heads. This is literally just a year-by-year picking of random horror movies, and having a random selection of the talking heads say what they thought about it.

There's no commentary to tie the whole thing together. It doesn't start anywhere interesting, do anything interesting in the middle, or end with any kind of conclusion. It's extremely shallow, dull and repetitive. After watching for 30 minutes, a title card came up saying "1981", and my heart sank as I thought of how relatively expensive this Blu-ray was to import from the USA... (and, incidentally, how the back of the case says "Stereo Surround", yet it's actually just 2.0 Stereo).

There are far more interesting documentaries on horror films available on YouTube for free... seriously, go seek those out instead. I recommend "Good Bad Flicks", "Oliver Harper"... even "Dead Meat" (whose presenter appears in this movie) as better examples of movie analysis that "In Search of Darkness".

If you're already a horror aficionado, you'll learn nothing. If you already seen every movie presented here, you'll learn nothing. For any movies that weren't on your radar, you'll get spoilers. I can't see who this is aimed at except the sort of people who like to veg out on the TV equivalent of methadone.
12 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Good I guess but nauseatingly long and it consists of nothing but many small reviews of well known horror movies
Well This sure wasn't anything special at all , I watch stuff like this all the time on youtube in online shows like Cinemassacre's Monster Madness and Trailers From Hell to name but a few, only difference is it doesn't cost fifty quid to see! This was cute and amusing enough though, I liked hearing what some of the actors like Barbra Crampton, Kelly Maroney and particularly the hilarious Tom Atkins had to say, but this was way too longer than it needed to be, I get much more out of the reasonably long documentaries on a lot of my blu rays, they talk about horrible nothing movies like Lair of the White Worm Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and The Stepfather 2, only the length of it is exhaustive, the rest of it is quite shallow and soon becomes horribly repetitive and that made it a considerable endurance test for me to sit through, in my opinion it's definitely not worth the time to watch it, not nearly deep enough and I feel sorry for those who believed the hype and rushed out to buy this AVERAGE bloated monster of a documentary, so glad I managed to watch it online for free!
10 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
clip show
jingorous16 November 2020
Just clips and a brief blurb on each film. if you know anything already about mainline horror then youre already overqualified to be watching this ..fine for a horror starter but offers very little.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I don't think i blinked the whole 4.5 hours
Thedthom21 October 2019
I started this movie and just lost track of time completely, I am not sure i even blinked i was so enthralled. The pacing, the content and the stories from all the greats of horror history just kept all of my attention. If you are a horror fan you HAVE TO WATCH THIS!
27 out of 48 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Horror since 1980
ks-6050011 March 2020
Good to watch and select couple of missing pieces from old times. Each horror like 3 mins overview and last for 4 and half hours.
9 out of 14 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
4 hours of horror?!
bossphotog15 October 2019
Sign me up!

I'm so happy to see so many familiar faces of horror while also learning new things about the beloved genre that is 80s horror.

This is a perfect documentary for ANY horror fan!
22 out of 41 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Fun, Surface-Level Romp Through 80s Horror
AlGranthamMusic6 July 2020
Count me amongst those who were ecstatic at the prospect of a four and a half hour documentary on my favourite decade of horror, the 1980s. I felt disappointment set in pretty early however, as the obvious budget limitations had the film feeling like a slightly better produced YouTube video. That feeling may have also stemmed from a number of the talking heads being actual YouTube video bloggers. These people can be entertaining at times, but are ultimately little more than fans themselves. I would have preferred their time given to other folks actually involved in the making of these films. Then again, if Joe Bob Briggs was simply allowed to talk for four and half hours we would have gleaned much more than we did from the ensemble.

The best moments of In Search of Darkness were the sections in which the cultural and historical relevance of 80s horror was analyzed. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the doc is comprised of simple and brief commentary on classics of the decade. The decision to structure the discussion year-by-year (marked by title cards) made the project feel laborious at times.

I'm glad I watched the film, in the sense that it felt like talking about horror movies for an afternoon with fellow fanatics. Don't expect a deeply thorough examination though.
4 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Well done but limited topic.
MetalChef125 September 2020
Complete list of films as discussed in order.

1980 1.) The Fog 2.) The Changling 3.) Friday the 13th 4.) The Shining 5.) Dressed to Kill 6.) Fade to Black 7.) Motel Hell 8.) Maniac

1981 1.) Scanners 2.) My Bloody Valentine 3.) The Howling 4.) The Burning 5.) American Werewolf in London 6.) Full Moon High 7.) The Evil Dead 8.) Halloween II 9.) Ghost Story

1982 1.) Cat People 2.) Basket Case 3.) Poltergeist 4.) The Thing 5.) Halloween III 6.) Q - The Winged Serpent 7.) Creepshow

1983 1.) Videodrome 2.) The Hunger 3.) Psycho II 4.) Cujo 5.) Sleepaway Camp 6.) Christine

3-d sub-section 1.) Friday the 13th III (3-d) 2.) Parasite (3-d) 3.) Rottweiler (3-d) 4.) Amityville 3 (3-d) 5.) Jaws 3 (3-d)

1984 1.) Children of the Corn 2.) Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter 3.) Firestarter 4.) Gremlins 5.) A Nightmare on Elm Street 6.) Night of the Comet

1985 1.) The Company of Wolves 2.) The Stuff 3.) Day of the Dead 4.) Fright Night 5.) Return of the Living Dead 6.) Howling II 7.) Silver Bullet 8.) Re-animator

1986 1.) Chopping Mall 2.) The Toxic Avenger 3.) Poltergeist II: The Other Side 4.) Psycho III 5.) Maximum Overdrive 6.) Friday the 13th VI: Jason Lives 7.) The Fly 8.) Night of the Creeps 9.) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 10.) From Beyond

1987 1.) A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors 2.) Dolls 3.) Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn 4.) It's Alive III: Island of the Alive 5.) The Lost Boys 6.) The Monster Squad 7.) Hellraiser 8.) Near Dark

1988 1.) Critters 2 2.) Friday the 13th VII: The New Blood 3.) Killer Klowns from Outer Space 4.) Phantasm II 5.) The Blob 6.) A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master 7.) The Lair of the White Worm 8.) Elvira: Mistress of the Dark 9.) Pumpkinhead 10.) Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Meyers 11.) The Live 12.) Child's Play 13.) Hellbound: Hellraiser II

1989 1.) The Burbs 2.) 976-Evil 3.) Pet Sematary 4.) Friday the 13th VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan 5.) Stepfather 2 6.) Society
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Lovely romp through 80s horror
obligingstranger14 June 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Some of the omissions are well-nigh unforgivable (e.g., The Hitcher, Dead of Winter, Of Unknown Origin, Paperhouse, City of the Living Dead, Cat's Eye, The Serpent and the Rainbow, The Believers, etc.), and the focus on the popular franchises (F13, Nightmare on Elm, Halloween, etc.) can get tiresome, but it's still endlessly enjoyable.
5 out of 7 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A bore...
komfortfilm1 February 2020
...and a big disappointment. As a big 80's horror buff I was looking forward seeing this, but found myself yawning 10 minutes in. Unimaginative and repetitive in its structure ("talking head", clip from film, back to talking head, clip from film... on and on and on and on...), and for a somewhat hardcore horror fan - nothing new. Such potential, such a waste. This project should have been helmed by a proper filmmaker with a visual style and fresh take on the subject. Like James Rolfe (who actually in it, and have been promoting it in his videos).
15 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
dagostino-david3 January 2020
Just tons and tons of horror thrown at me. I loved it. Interviews with directors, actors, practical FX artists, horror hosts, and lovers of the genre. I liked the format as well. They showcased several films per year as well as topics such as exploitation in horror.

I've only really been into the horror scene the last few years and have mainly stuck to the more well known movies so there were a number of films highlighted that I've yet to see. That alone was a treasure to me. I now have a checklist. :) For a 4 1/2 hour documentary, time flew by.

As for negatives, I thought they spent a little too much time on certain series, such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, but they are talking 80s horror. Also, it would have been great to see more key actors and crew. For example, a lot was said about Tom Savini's work yet he's not an interviewee. Budget, scheduling, and the willingness of the individuals could have all played a part in who participated though.
15 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Definitive Documentary On 80's Horror!
werewulves19 October 2019
In Search Of Darkness is a perfect in depth dive into all that is 80's horror. It has so many incredible interviews with the casts and crews of the movies that make up all of the classic films of the era. It is definitely a documentary made by someone who has a genuine love of every one of the movies that is covered in it.
24 out of 49 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Great look back at the 80s
kerosene197-690-17686731 October 2019
I have watched this documentary every night for the last 4 nights. I love it. It is very interesting to hear some of the stories from the movies and the thoughts stars have on that era. The only down side to this documentary is that they focus on all the well known horror movies of the 80s and dont talk much about the lesser know films. We have all heard about friday the 13th, a nightmare on elm street and halloween. Other then the fact that they skip over so many films this is a great documentary. I enjoyed it so much. Maybe do a sequel and show some of the lesser films.
19 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Talked too much about the "cheesy" 80's horror
daleyjem21 April 2020
It was nice to hear people talk about the genre of the 80's that I remember, but they talk FAR more about the cheesiness of 80's horror and its often overdone special effects than they do about the movies that that struck real fear.

I'm glad they mentioned Changeling, but the mention was far too little for how great that movie and George C. Scott were. No mention of Serpent and the Rainbow? Prince of Darkness, even after they tease Alice Cooper's name and the influence of 80's metal? Aliens?

Not all, but some of the interviewees seem to remember so much of the B-rated side to 80's horror for special effects. It seems more accurate if the documentary was called "80's Horror Was Only Kinda Good"... but I remember better than this accounts.
7 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Waiting for part 2
arsdeviu14 January 2020
Exceptional, remarkable and impressive. The only thing that needed was, maybe, 4 more hours and more deep insight about the movies . This documentary is a must for any horror fan/nerd.

Hopefully we'll have a part 2.
12 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Lack of insight.
slammerhard30 January 2020
Lots of juicy clips from films, not much substance otherwise. No big names among the talking heads. They are pleasant enough but don't bring anything new to the table. Its nice to see how some of those 80's femme fatales have aged-Barbara Crampton is still impressive while Heather Langenkamp doesn't seem to care about her appearance. It is really disappointing that this documentary spends too much time on well known franchises such as Halloween/Friday 13th/Nightmare on Elm Street while other much better films are not mentioned. A couple of UK releases are mentioned but nothing from Europe or Australia. The guys behind this video need to expand their horror horizons.
11 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Maybe too much of a good thing
kinglerch6 February 2020
This movie is a great review of 80s horror with many movies discussed and many interviews. Someone actually reviewed this as a 3/10, essentially complaining that there weren't enough interviews with big name actors/directors, and too much time on big name movies.... that it simultaneously had too much behind the scenes info but horror fans know all of it??! can't please some people.

I felt the production was great, the interviews were interesting, and even as an 80s horror fan I didn't know most of it before. Some movies were my favorites and others I missed at the time.

The only issue is that it is not cohesive. It is 4.5 hours! I wouldn't say it dragged necessarily, but it could be been an amazing 2 hour overview, remove some of the parts that aren't quite as interesting, or parts that aren't saying something that different, and sum it up.

It's still great, and I think if watched in segments like a series it would be even better. Any horror fan or just 80s movie fan could watch any portion and be fully entertained, but the entire portion could be too much for some to swallow.
6 out of 11 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A 4.5 hr doc?!?!?
sibleybridges30 July 2020
I rated In Search of Darkness (2019) 6/10. A fun overview of all the great aspects of 80s horror, but why was this not a series? Why was this a 4.5 hr doc?
3 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
For Horror Virgins
michellegriffin-0498930 September 2020
If you're new to the genre, I couldn't think of anything better to get your feet wet. If you're a lifelong fan, there's not much of interest here that you haven't heard before. It's still entertaining enough and feels like one of those VH1 I Love The 80's documentaries with a bunch of talking heads giving their opinions on mostly mainstream films from that era. Don't expect many surprises and you should be fine.
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed