Jonathan Barkan is currently creating and directing a documentary about the positive effects horror can have on mental health.
The upcoming documentary will explore the genre through the lens of those whose mental health has improved through their viewing of all things horror.
A director’s statement for Mental Health and Horror: A Documentary has been released. The video features original music by legendary horror composer Simon Boswell (Hardware, Clive Barker’s Lord of Illusions), who has also been announced as an interviewee.
“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,” says Barkan. “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.”
Also announced to be participating in the documentary are the following interviewees, who will be lending their insight on the topic:
Geretta Geretta (Demons, Demons 2),
Breanna Whipple (Heavy Horror),
Lucky McKee (The Woman, May),
Tom McLoughlin (Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives),
Chet Zar (The Blob, Darkman),
Issa Lopez (Tigers Are Not Afraid).
Mental Health and Horror: A Documentary will feature interviews from horror fans, film critics, film historians, filmmakers, producers, writers, and professionals from the mental health world. An initial Kickstarter will be launched on June 23rd. Several of the pledge tiers will see funds go towards supporting various mental health foundations and charities aimed at helping marginalized communities.
Previously confirmed appearances 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),
with more to be announced.
The documentary is currently in production and will be shooting through 2021 with an anticipated Q1 2022 world premiere.
Follow the project on their official website.