A Documentary Clip Reveals the Cathartic Comfort of Horror Movies


The upcoming Mental Health and Horror: A Documentary explores the positive impact and cathartic comforts that the horror genre can have for fans living with mental illness, and Collider can exclusively debut a new clip today from the feature-length doc that hails from Jonathan Barkan and producer Andrew Hawkins. Mental Health and Horror: A Documentary is currently in production and is slated for premiere in early 2022.

“When the idea of this documentary came into my mind, it refused to let go. I have been dealing with mental illnesses for a long time and horror, which I’ve loved my whole life, has always been there as a means of support,” said Barkan in a provided statement. “There are two goals with this documentary: the first is to let that person in the middle of nowhere, the one who loves horror but has no support system or access to mental health resources, know that they are not alone. The second goal is to actively fight against harmful stereotypes and stigmas that our community faces on a daily basis. Horror has been the black sheep of cinema and society for too long. It’s time we show how powerful, important, and helpful the genre can be for countless people around the world.”


Image via Picturehouse

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Barkan, who created the documentary, also directs. In addition to Hawkins, David Lawson Jr. (Spring, The Endless, Synchronic) will act as executive producer with Alice Collins (Fountaine and the Vengeful Nun Who Wouldn’t Die), Zena Dixon (co-host of the Bloody-Disgusting Podcast), and BJ Colangelo (Labrys, Deathcember) as producers. Jason Kauzlarich (FANGORIA Chainsaw Awards) serves as art director, with Shane Izykowski (Snaggletooth) as DP and Lindsay Ragone (Drag Race Canada) as editor.

The documentary features interviews from horror fans, film critics, film historians, filmmakers, producers, writers, and mental health professionals. Confirmed participants currently include Michael Kennedy (Blumhouse’s Freaky), Rebekah McKendry (Tales of Halloween, All The Creatures Were Stirring), Kristina Arntz (Darlin’), Disasterina (The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula), Gigi Saul Guerrero (The Purge, Into the Dark: Culture Shock), Adam Egypt Mortimer (Daniel Isn’t Real), Ash Millman (PlayStation Access), Issa López (Tigers Are Not Afraid), and Jed Shepherd (Host), with more to be announced. You can follow updates from the project at mentalhealthhorrordoc.com and support the film via Kickstarter here.

Mental Health and Horror: A Documentary is anticipated for a release in early 2022. Check out the exclusive clip below, featuring horror artist Spinestealer talking about J.A. Bayona‘s 2007 release The Orphanage:


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