Editor’s note: Not every one of these films are specifically aimed at horror fans, though all dabble in or are directly related to the macabre.
Documentaries are an acquired taste. Some find them absolutely riveting, and some find them coma inducing. For my buck, documentaries are absolutely fascinating, often filling our heads with an immense amount of previously unknown knowledge. And, to be fair, getting a lesson on the facts of compelling cases is just about priceless.
If you view this genre of film as I do, you should get a kick out of this guide to mesmerizing documentaries that are now available to stream on Netflix. From legendary genre contributors to urban legends to some of history’s most terrifying serial killers, there’s a whole lot of information waiting to invade space in your noggin, so do yourself a favor, scan our guide to great documentaries and then get to viewing!
Aileen Wuornos: The Selling of a Serial Killer
1992, Florida, USA. Aileen Wuornos is claimed to be the world’s first female serial killer.
Birth of the Living Dead
In 1968, Pittsburgh native, George Romero, would direct a low budget film that would revolutionize the horror genre forever, Night of the Living Dead. Through interviews with the talents involved, the story of this film creation is told and how it reflected its time with a grotesque and powerful immediacy. Furthermore, the film’s difficult and controversial release to an unsuspecting film public is also recounted as it survived the early revulsion to become a landmark cinematic creation with a profound effect on popular culture.
From Caligari to Hitler: German Cinema in the Age of the Masses
“Metropolis” (1927), “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari” (1920), “M” (1931), “Nosferatu” (1922), “People on Sunday” (1930), “Berlin, Symphony of a Metropolis” (1927) all rank among the classics and most influential films of European Cinema. FROM CALIGARI TO HITLER tells the story of early German Cinema as the story of social and cultural upheaval in the first republic, between 1918 and 1933. Siegfried Kracauer, who wrote the groundbreaking book ‘From Caligari to Hitler’ (1947) on this ‘Weimar Cinema’, is a central figure, as is Fritz Lang, the most versatile of all Weimar directors. The viewer will encounter the cast members of the young Republic’s stage: Marlene Dietrich, Louise Brooks, Emil Jannings, directors such as G.W.Pabst and F.W. Murnau, writers like Billy Wilder and many more – those who helped shape the new art of cinema.
A subjective documentary that explores the numerous theories about the hidden meanings within ‘Stanley Kubrick (I)’ ‘s Kubrick”s film The Shining (1980). The film may be over 30 years old but it continues to inspire debate, speculation, and mystery. Five very different points of view are illuminated through voice over, film clips, animation and dramatic reenactments. Together they’ll draw the audience into a new maze, one with endless detours and dead ends, many ways in, but no way out.
Best Evidence: Top 10 UFO Sightings
UFO experts select and analyze the 10 best documented UFO sightings in history including the Skylab III case, the Rendlesham Forest case, the Lockheed case, and the Shag Harbour incident.
Dark Star: H.R. Giger’s World
He feels at home in places we would flee from and lives his life among the very things we fear. Throughout his life, HR Giger had inhabited the world of the uncanny, a dark universe on the brink of many an abyss. It was the only way this amiable, modest and humorous man was able to keep his fears in check. Giger was merely the bearer of dark messages, charting our nightmares, drafting maps of our subconscious and molding our primal fears. A film with and about the internationally acclaimed and controversial painter, sculptor, architect and designer (Oscar for ‘Alien’).
Manson’s Missing Victims
Note this is not the actual trailer for Manson’s Missing Victims
It is almost universally believed by those who were involved with, or who have studied, the Manson murders that there are far more victims still out there. This documentary looks for some of their graves.
A look at a frightening condition that plagues thousands; sleep paralysis.
Realizing the urban legend of their youth has actually come true; two filmmakers delve into the mystery surrounding five missing children and the real-life boogeyman linked to their disappearances.
Four timeless urban legends continue to haunt the psyche of the American public. This documentary follows filmmakers Joshua Zeman and Rachel Mills as they investigate the true crimes that may have spawned these urban legends, while exploring how these myths evolved and why we continue to believe. The documentary probes the following legends: The Candyman: The film travels viewers to Houston, Texas, to explore the legend of tainted candy that strikes fear in parents every Halloween. Though the legend is prolific, in actuality there is only one documented case of a child dying from tainted candy: 8-year-old Timothy O’Bryan. Timothy was poisoned on Halloween by a real life monster who used the legend to hide his crime, earning him the nickname, The Candyman. The Baby-Sitter and the Man Upstairs: As the legend goes, a babysitter tormented by a twisted caller, learns that the sadistic calls are coming from inside the house. While the babysitter has become the go-to victim in so many of our…