If you lived through them, then you know firsthand that the 1980s proved a fertile mixing ground for many of the pop-culture touchstones we take for granted in 2018. Whether fashion, music, or movie genres from sci-fi to horror, the decade saw an unprecedented synthesis between the polar extremes of pure art and commercialism — and it laid the groundwork for an enduring entertainment formula.
Now a team of nostalgically die-hard horror fans is commemorating the decade’s watershed contributions to big-screen scares, prepping a crowdfunding campaign for In Search of Darkness, a horror documentary that takes an appropriately overstimulated look at how the fright films of the time both fed on, and contributed to, the giddy creative spirit of a period when artists prized their work’s maximum visceral impact above all else.
Ahead of the campaign, the documentary’s makers tweeted out a fast-twitch teaser that gives a neat taste not only of how horror felt in the 1980s, but in a larger sense, of how the genre fit into the overall culture (caution — the clip may be mildly NSFW):
It’s a headlong dive into every frightful thing you might remember, and plenty more you might have forgotten: Chucky, the Tall Man, Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, The Howling, and much more — it’s all here, intercut with all the Reagan Era’s dizzying social and cultural context. It’s a cool integration, and it’s definitely piqued our interest to see the finished product.
Why take aim at '80s horror now? Why not? The decade “showed us how to confront the times we live in through a skewed mirror — all sharp angles and razor edges; ideas and visions so sharp they could almost cut you, twisting our everyday fears and giving them a face,” producer Evrim Ersoy explains on the project’s website.
How many 1980s icons, horror-themed or otherwise, can you spot in the 80-second clip? Give the trailer a good, close look — and then let us know if there’re any other period-appropriate horror landmarks the documentary team should add to the mix.