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The 1980’s exploded onto our screens in a veritable feast of blood, sweat, and chills. Madmen, killers, and evil spirits mingled with aliens, demons and cursed dolls; horrific images burnt directly onto our retinas and etched permanently into our brains.
And we loved it.
Hearts pounding, palms sweaty, muscles tense; that thrill of creeping dread was matched only by the satisfaction of knowing the person in the next seat was even more terrified.
It showed us how to confront the times we live in through a skewed mirror – all twisted angles and razor edges; ideas and visions so sharp they could almost cut you, twisting our everyday fears and giving them a face.
This was a time when greed was good and our bodies were no longer our friend. Cronenberg, Yuzna, Carpenter, Craven – all gave us the chance to see the horror within society and within ourselves.
Hysteria over AIDS transplanted body horror from the hospital onto our screens, while “Gordon Gecko” levels of excess and fears over rising violent crime met their match in increasingly over-the-top Slasher flics.
But this was a genre with more to offer than cheap scares, from Steven Miner’s comedy horror of ‘House’ to the daunting practical effects of Wes Craven’s ‘Serpent and the Rainbow’ one of the defining characteristics of 1980’s horror cinema was its sheer range and imagination when it came to examining our mortality.
For the first time, technology became the tool through which these ghouls could invade our homes, staring out at us from eye-popping VHS tapes, ready to scare us again and again at the touch of a button.
For many of us, this was our only option. The 1980’s saw many new releases banned from our local rental stores amidst protests and public outcry – but that didn’t stop us from sharing copies; grainy 3rd generation bootlegs that lost none of their ability to scare.
Gloved killers stared out at us from cool t-shirts, Fangoria reviews kept us hooked, and entire weekends were spent chasing our next scare through the dusty aisles of the local mom-and-pop VHS rental store – the '80s gave us exactly what we craved.
Join us as we descend once again to explore how an industry that grew from the minds of outsiders, punks, and rebellious teenagers became a cultural leviathan that left the rest of society SCREAMING foul murder.
For the first time in Horror history, “In Search of Darkness” will bring together '80s icons, modern horror greats, popular Youtubers and Social Media Influencers to create the most complete retrospective documentary of the genre ever made. Together, they will bring their unique perspectives as we take a nostalgic journey back to revisit the unforgettable heroes, monsters, and movies that thrilled and chilled us.
Learn about the era from the perspective of the masters who frightened us, the directors of today who were inspired by them, and the new generation of social media influencers who have fallen in love with the genre.
Hear from the actors, writers, directors, producers and composers who brought horror icons such as Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers and Pinhead to the screen as they discuss their work with the new breed of Horror cinema and some of their biggest fans.
Delve into the imagery: the garish VHS covers and posters that seduced us and came to define the '80s aesthetic.
Journey back to the socio/political context that inspired our favourite movies – fears of nuclear war, violent crime, and deadly diseases.
Explore the rise of the B-Movie superstar: Bruce Campbell, Jeffrey Combs, and Robert Englund; stars that could guarantee success for what were otherwise overlooked direct-to-VHS movies.
Investigate how the explosion of VHS enabled these icons of horror to take the leap from the movie screen into our homes and created new opportunities for low-budget filmmakers.
Examine the role practical in-camera effects, animatronics and prosthetics played in scaring us in a time before CGI.
Discuss the importance of the '80s horror genre and its impact on society, including how its violent and explicit imagery opened-up new political, sociological, and cultural discussion.