Now that so many of us have been asked to remain at home during the Coronavirus crisis, streaming entertainment is more important than ever: as a distraction, an escape, and a way to feel connected to the outside world, cinema is more important than ever.
If you’re looking to bulk up on your horror knowledge, we’ve assembled a list of 13 Killer Documentaries streaming now on Shudder. We’ll do our best to keep the recommends coming, with additional recommends of what’s worth watching on Hulu, Amazon, Shudder, and more.
Haunters: The Art of the Scare
A heart-warming and heart-stopping documentary about people who sacrifice everything to create the most popular and polarizing haunted houses for Halloween – from boo-scare mazes to a controversial new subculture of extreme terror experiences.
Smoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini
Special Makeup Effects legend, Actor, Director, Stuntman. Tom Savini has redefined the horror genre with his arsenal on talents. But who is the man behind the “King of Splatter?” From his his childhood in Pittsburgh, PA; to his tour of duty during Vietnam, to his beginnings with George A. Romero and beyond. The defining documentary on the life and career of horror icon Tom Savini.
A feature length documentary following horror journalist Tal Zimerman as he looks at the psychology of horror around the world in order to understand why we love to be scared. Horror is a global phenomenon. Millions of people love it, yet horror fans are often misunderstood. Tal Zimerman should know. He is one of them. Tal is a Canadian journalist and a full-fledged fan of everything deep, dark and disgusting. But lately he’s been asking himself – Why?
Horror Noire: A History of Black Horror
Delving into a century of genre films that by turns utilized, caricatured, exploited, sidelined, and finally embraced them, Horror Noire traces the untold history of Black Americans in Hollywood through their connection to the horror genre. Adapting Robin Means Coleman’s book, HORROR NOIRE will present the living and the dead, using new and archival interviews from scholars and creators; the voices who survived the genre’s past trends, to those shaping its future.
Leviathan: The Story of Hellraiser
LEVIATHAN: THE STORY OF HELLRAISER is a feature length documentary uncovering the history and the making of Clive Barker’s 1987 cult horror classic HELLRAISER. Featuring never-before-seen photos and clips from those who were on set and interviews with key cast and crew including; Christopher Figg, Geoff Portass, Bob Keen, Doug Bradley, Clare Higgins, Andrew Robinson, Simon Bamford, Nicholas Vince and many more.
King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen
The true story of writer, producer, director, creator and all-around maverick, Larry Cohen (Black Caesar, It’s Alive, Q: The Winged Serpent, The Stuff). Told through compelling live interviews, stills and film/TV clips, the people who helped fulfill his vision, and industry icons such as Martin Scorsese, J.J. Abrams, John Landis, Michael Moriarty, Fred Williamson, Joe Dante, Yaphet Kotto and many more, including Larry himself, bring one-of-a-kind insight into the work, process and legacy of a true American film auteur. Few can boast of a career as remarkable or prolific, spanning more than 50 years of entertaining audiences worldwide.
At Spookers, an enormous haunted house in a shuttered New Zealand mental hospital, a merry band of amateur actors spend their nights scaring the pants off visitors. One night they might be clowns in a creepy carnival, the next night fearsome fairy tale figures. But the brilliance of this delightful documentary goes beyond the ins and outs of haunting, as director Florian Habicht shows how transforming themselves into monsters helps many staff members deal with their own traumas and phobias. Step into a place where fear is a family business – if you dare.
Why are we simultaneously attracted to and repelled by the things that scare us the most? In this special presentation, acclaimed filmmaker Rodney Ascher (ROOM 237, THE NIGHTMARE) explores the pop culture that left dark impressions on us as children. Starting from the immortal ventriloquist dummy of MAGIC, Ascher asks real people to look back at pop-culture artifacts that traumatized them in their youth and describe the effect they had on their lives. A singular hybrid of documentary and horror, stare into the Primal Screen.
Delving into our collective nightmares as the team behind CROPSEY, investigates the origins of four terrifying urban legends and the true stories that may have inspired them. Joshua Zeman and Rachel Mills delve into the histories behind The Hookman, The Candyman, The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs and the Killer Clown, tales that have captivated our culture and inspired the likes of THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN, WHEN A STRANGER CALLS, and more.
Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy
Murderer. Dream Demon. The bastard son of a hundred maniacs. Any way you slice it, there can only be one man – one monster – who epitomizes those words: Freddy Krueger. For decades, he has slashed his way through the dreams of countless youngsters and shows no signs of ever resting in peace. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET star Heather Langenkamp is your dream guide in this thrilling shockumentary that takes you deeper into Freddy’s realm than ever before, featuring exciting clips, never-before-seen photos, behind-the-scenes footage, conceptual art, publicity materials and exclusive new interviews with over 100 key cast and crew from every Nightmare.
Crystal Lake Memories: The History of Friday the 13th
From Mrs. Voorhees to Mr. Krueger, this delectable doc offers an in depth look at each entry in the FRIDAY THE 13th series. After making his mark with the acclaimed ELM STREET saga NEVER SLEEP AGAIN, Daniel Farrands tackled the other titan of ‘80s horror: Jason Voorhees, the hockey-masked maniac who slayed hundreds during his journey from Camp Crystal Lake to outer space and back again. Corey Feldman narrates, while the franchise’s core creatives and cast members offer insights sure to surprise even the most fervent FRIDAY fans. Ready? CHK-CHK-CHK-CHK!
Making of Rob Zombie’s 31
Long before the film is made, proper planning must take place. In this chapter, Rob Zombie works with his creative and technical teams, from location scouting, costume design, makeup and effects, and casting, to create the world that will soon become 31. Contains strong language.
The Road Movie
Asphalt adventures, landscape photography, and some of the craziest shit you’ve ever seen, Dmitrii Kalashnikov’s THE ROAD MOVIE is a stunning compilation of video footage shot exclusively via the deluge of dashboard cameras that populate Russian roads. The epitome of a you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it documentary, THE ROAD MOVIE captures a wide range of spectacles through the windshield—including a comet crashing down to Earth, an epic forest fire, and no shortage of angry motorists taking road rage to wholly new and unexpected levels—all accompanied by bemused commentary from unseen and often stoic drivers and passengers.