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Exclusive comments, plus poster: “TEEN SCREAMS” doc explores horror’s enduring subgenre

Wednesday, August 11, 2021 | Exclusives, News


From HALLOWEEN to SCREAM and beyond, this project cuts deep into the history of youth-horror.

Hellmouth Pictures and director/producer Kieran Nolan Jones have announced the launch of the documentary TEEN SCREAMS, covering the history of fright fare targeting the younger set (in both senses).

“Teen horror has been a love of mine for some time,” Jones tells RUE MORGUE. “The escapism of those films is something I will always enjoy. After rewatching A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, I started to investigate the film’s symbolism to understand what Freddy represents and what Wes Craven was trying to tell us. This sparked wider thoughts on teen horror as a whole and what the subgenre can tell us about what is, for most people, the scariest and most confusing part of their lives: being a teenager.

“As a huge fan of horror documentaries, especially the wonderful HORROR NOIRE on Shudder,” he continues, “it seemed I wasn’t alone in being interested in this type of documentary. From then on, it was a natural and incredibly exciting choice to make TEEN SCREAMS my first feature.”

Teenagers have been running scared from, and confronting, quite an assortment of threats over the course of screen history, and Jones plans to showcase them all. “What’s great about teen horror is that it involves an incredibly wide variety of subgenres within a subgenre. While I don’t want to divulge the full list of films we will be covering, TEEN SCREAMS will document the evolution of teen horror from its humble beginnings, through its proliferation after the release of films such as HALLOWEEN and FRIDAY THE 13TH, journeying through slasher mania into SCREAM’s reinvention of the genre in the ’90s, the reverberations in the genre post-SCREAM, culminating in the state of the genre in the present day. For a tease of the films, TV, etc. that we may be covering, readers can check out our Twitter and Instagram!

“In addition to charting the history of the genre,” Jones continues, “TEEN SCREAMS will also take a film-theory approach, critically analyzing the different conventions and metaphors inherent in each decade of the subgenre from its conception, and how they reflect teenage issues and the world in which they were made. We’re currently in extremely early stages of preproduction, gathering interviewees to take part in the documentary. We plan to interview filmmakers as well as horror journalists and scholars.” We’ll keep you updated on the project’s progress, and you can follow it on the social media above.

Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold (RUE MORGUE's Head Writer) has been covering the world of horror cinema for over three decades, and in addition to his work for RUE MORGUE, he has been a longtime writer and editor for FANGORIA magazine and its website. He has also written for BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH, SCREAM,, TIME OUT, DELIRIUM, MOVIEMAKER and others. He is the author of the AD NAUSEAM books (1984 Publishing) and THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO MONSTER MOVIES (FAB Press), and he has contributed documentaries, featurettes and liner notes to numerous Blu-rays, including the award-winning feature-length doc TWISTED TALE: THE UNMAKING OF "SPOOKIES" (Vinegar Syndrome).