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Sometimes, watching straight horror movies isn’t enough for a fan. Lots of us like to really chew over the genre, consuming all that’s out there on our favorite films and directors. (Zombie jokes! Get it?) Last year, we looked at a couple of options in the ‘obsessive documentary’ department, but most of the titles had to be tracked down and Pirate Bay’ed purchased if you wanted to see them. Netflix has really expanded their horror offerings (just in time for the season!). Among the usual quickie rip-offs and D-level filler movies are a number of really good and interesting documentaries on horror movies and the people who make them.

All titles are available for instant streaming on Netflix.

Horror films:

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Nightmares in Red, White and Blue: The Evolution of the American Horror Film

The title gives the story away — this documentary features interviews with some of the big names of the genre including John Carpenter and George A. Romero. Narration is by my man, Lance Henriksen, who played Bishop in Aliens, Frank Black in Millennium, and Jesse Hooker in the criminally under-viewed Near Dark.

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Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy

An exhaustive documentary on the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. One of my absolute favorite documentaries, it covers all the movies and the short-lived television show, features interviews with almost all of the series major stars (what, too good for us, Patricia Arquette?), and includes a great section on Nightmare 2, the gay subtext entry.

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nightmare-factory

Nightmare Factory

Greg Nicotero has an absolutely astounding resume as a special effect man, director, and occasional actor — you might be aware of his involvement with the Walking Dead TV show, or know the name from the SyFy series Face Off. This EPIX documentary looks at the work of KNB Effects, his special effects company that has worked on films like Sin City, Ginger Snaps: Unleashed, and The Hills Have Eyes.

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birth of the living dead

Birth of the Living Dead

I’m aware that the current pop culture climate is dealing with a bit of zombie exhaustion, but any fan of the genre — really, anyone with an interest in filmmaking in general, should check out this piece on Night of the Living Dead. Romero’s film has a massive legacy that can’t be ignored, from his shambling monsters to the intentional political subtext of the movie and its casting.

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Room 237

Room 237 differs from our other offerings in that it focuses on fan relationships with the Kubrick adaptation of The Shining rather than industry inside baseball. Originally a cult website, the film looks at some oddball and obsessive theories that have arisen over symbolism (perceived or otherwise) found within Kubrick’s movie. The makers take no stance on the validity of any of the theories offered, staying off screen and out of the way to just allowing the fans to state their cases.

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