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Christopher Webster [Film Festival 07.15.10] movie review horror documentary

Year: 2010
Directors: Andrew Monument
Writers: Joseph Maddrey
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: agentorange
Rating: 7 out of 10

Tracing a hundred some years of American horror cinema is no small feat, but Andrew Monument's new documentary Nightmares in Red, White and Blue attempts to do just that - albeit, by cutting some corners and really only skimming the surface of a few pretty important moments in the evolution of the genre.

I don't want to fault the film for leaving me wanting more, but ultimately this movie should have been four hours, or made into a short series of installments. There's certainly enough material here to warrant it and a ravenous audience out there ready to indulge. Ken Burns' Baseball? Blech. Ken Burns' Horror film? Now we're talkin'.

Nightmares brings the usual suspects together (read: Romero, Dante, Carpenter, Cohen, Corman et all) to talk - not just movies - but why horror continues to rise in popularity. The film also ties each generation of horror films to the political and social states of the time and discusses how sometimes art imitates life.

It's all very interesting, but for me, too much time is devoted to the same old movies. Don't get me wrong. I live Wolfman and Dracula, Invasion of the Body Snathchers and Corman's Poe films and much as any cult film junkie, but they've been talked to death. What I was hoping, was that Nightmares in Red, White and Blue would be the first documentary to dissect some of the newer trends in horror - particularly from the 70s to now; what I call the Platmium Dunes generation.

One thing the film has going for it is footage. Pretty much every film that is mentioned gets some footage shown and that's great. I've seen lots of independant documentaries where the makers couldn't get the rights to footage so it ends up being a lot of talking heads. Nightmares is a good mix, so it gets a bump from me for that.

Bottom line? If you're not a movie snob who spent most of your life pouring over mags and movie blogs and you're looking for a meaty doc about the history of American horror movies this is a good one. For those of you who are looking for more than just an overview with a bit of social context, the wait continues.

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uncleB (11 years ago) Reply

Thanks for the heads up. Another Terror in the Ailse?


Michael Allen (11 years ago) Reply

Yes, I really enjoyed this one.:) -Mike

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