In Search of Darkness II – ★★★★★

In Search of Darkness II – ★★★★★

There is a lot of love around here for David Weiner’s In Search of Darkness. A documentary going through the classics of the horror genre in the 80s. So when the sequel was announced a question had to be asked. What can be better than a love letter documentary to one of if not the best decade in horror? In Search of Darkness II is a perfect, 270-minute sequel that glowingly enhances and expands on its original. An utter joy for not only a fan of the genre but a fan of cinema.

One thing we knew after the first In Search of Darkness, was that there was a lot left on the table. Did you get annoyed that one of your favourite horror flicks somehow wasn’t mentioned. Then do not fear as there is the very good chance that it is present here. Continuing on conversations with actors, directors and critics from the previous documentary we are provided with several notable new interviewees who can bring the love for not only their films but other films of the genre

With a setup of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, we follow through with the same set up as the first doc. In Search of Darkness II takes us through each year detailing specific films as well as some side discussions that are equally as interesting. We go through the Italian horrors and their influence on the genre to a great little breakdown with Robert Englund regarding his career.

This is a great way to pace out the film and with Englund’s section. Allowing us to see his career as an actor pre-Freddie. Also to gaze at his portrayal as Freddie Kruger and the interesting tidbit of there being choices for Freddie’s punchlines. As his section continues it delves past just the Nightmare films and more films of his acting and directorial career with the joys and frustrations of 976-Evil. This is wonderful for horror fans as we get to see more of an insight into one of the greats.

One of these side discussions is the introduction and evolution of horror games during the 80s be it on the Atari or the NES. The charm is still there in the clips of the heavily pixelated characters such as the Alien game simply being Pac-Man. We also see how video games of 80s films are made now with an interesting look into the Friday the 13th game that utilised Kane Hodder and Tom Savini. This just shows the influence the genre and the films of the time had and still have on all of pop culture.

Where the first film features the iconic horror films that defined the genre. Here in In Search of Darkness II we have more of a leaning to the splatter, video nasties and comedy jaunts. There is also some cult films that even I hadn’t heard of before. Films such as Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers, which truly appears to be a whole load of film noir comedy-horror fun.

For those fans of the genre who do not know too many 80s horror flicks then this is the documentary for you. Without a doubt, as I did, you will find several great little gems that will keep you entertained for a good long while. Let’s be honest if you aren’t writing these films down during the doc or in the long list of credits for future watching, what are you even doing here?

A great section in the documentary is the films that weren’t made, we get the ideas and thoughts of Re-Animator sequels. Pumpkinhead prequels and Bill Moseley’s quite wonderfully dreadful pitched idea for Texas Chainsaw Massacre 3, which needs to get made for how loopy it is.

Why does In Search of Darkness II stand out just as well the first film? It like any good sequel decides not to repeat itself. We don’t delve too much if at all into the big franchises and instead use those to jump off into other discussions, such as the Robert Englund piece. The genre and decade had so many films it would be a travesty to keep going with the sequels.

Here we have a documentary that shows that we will never see a decade of horror like the one we saw in the 80s. This can either bring a downer to you or allow you to seek out as many of these wonderful splatter filled treasures as possible. There are a couple of exceptions to this such as the inclusion of Poltergeist III which is almost used as more of a short homage to Heather O’Rourke which was a lovely touch.

In Search of Darkness II is an utter joy and just like the first film, the four hours fly by, and I mean fly by. Not only do we touch upon some classics and some lesser-known films. But a focus on the effects is also prevalent throughout without ever feeling like a rehashing of other documentaries. David Weiner has to tread a very careful line here and has once again knocked it right out of the park. This is essential to any genre fans catalogue. Could there be a part 3? Goodness, I hope so as you are still somehow left, after 9 hours of runtime wanting more.

★★★★★

In Search of Darkness: Part II will be released for a limited-time flash sale from February 5th through midnight Valentine’s Day, February 14th 2021 at 80sHorrorDoc.com.

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