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Netflix Instant - "Nightmares in Red, White and Blue" (Like or Dislike)

There are many kinds of horror fans: there are those who are in it for the gore and violence, those who are in it for the all too often flashes of bare skin, and even those who are mply in it for a good scare, and there’s really nothing wrong with any of those impulses. Perhaps more rare, however, are those who are interested in horror not just for what is portrayed on the screen, but also the behind the scenes machinations that went into writing and putting to film the macabre scenes we all love so well. The 2009 documentary "Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film" will most likely appeal most to that last sort of horror fan.

With voiceovers provided by everyone’s favorite former android, Lance Henriksen, Nightmares in Red, White and Blue takes a hard look at the way American horror films evolved against a backdrop of changing political currents and cultural senbilities over the years. The documentary attempts to draw a line connecting the way the thought consensus and daily lives of average Americans affected what was put to screen: as what we held most frightening shifted and changed, so did the films produced to frighten us.

The documentary features interviews with horror greats George Romero, John Carpenter, Larry Cohen, Mick Garris, Roger Corman, and many many more, each offering their own unique perspective in the context of their own canon of work as well as their personal favorite films. Apart from the immediate connectivity to American history, Nightmares offers a brief but enthuastic rundown of the chronological history of horror films in America, giving even a novice horror fan a full taste of what the genre has to offer.

This documentary is perhaps not for everyone; there are many who would just as gladly blot out the social and historic connotations of any given film in favor of an escape into the fantasy world it gives. However, for anyone who has made the argument to disdaining non-horror-fans that there’s more than just blood and guts to the genre, this is the perfect documentary for you. Take this opportunity to explore the fascinating and often frightening real-world counterparts of what frightens us on the lver screen; you won’t be sorry.
dew Friday 7/20/2012 at 10:40 PM | 94946
I didn't want to include this in the review proper, but it's worth saying that even apart from what is discussed in the documentary, we can see the way American socio-cultural trends appear in the horror genre today; we currently live in a society where mass-shootings have become the unfortunate norm, and films such as 09's "Rampage" have entered the canon, as well as references to a school shooting in the first season of American Horror Story.
dew Friday 7/20/2012 at 10:51 PM | 94949
I personally love this documentary.

It is brilliant in its historical setup and I think that to really appreciate horror, in any nation, the context in which it was formed is as important as the scares it produces.

Most of us do have frightening experiences and are on the daily, at least subconsciously, awaiting our own inevitable deaths.

I think its Carpenter who talks a little about this, saying that this is the most primal fear we as humans have.

I suppose keeping this subject in the States helps keeps a typical running time for a movie, but I would have loved to have seen the horror history of other countries.
Madloomis78 Sunday 7/22/2012 at 03:31 AM | 94981