Documentary overview: Horror Europa with Mark Gatiss (BBC, 2012)



Horror Europa is actually a sequel to three-part documentary series A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss released in 2010. Horror Europa begins surprisingly from a Belgian city of Ostend. Mark Gatiss leads viewers to an old, luxury seaside hotel with dark past associated to tyrannical King Leopold II. Gatiss journeys through continental Europe tracking filming locations of classic horror films and interviewing people who made them.

Daughters of Darkness (1971)

The documentary is also an interesting look at the very gloomy, bloody and  horrific past of Europe. The devastation of World War I through the inter-war years leading to the carnage of World War II. Dark history of Europe is very much present even in the colour choices of some of the films presented in here: in Daughters of Darkness (1971) director Harry Kümel wanted to dress actress Delphine Seyrig in Nazi colours of black, red and white. The fascism is also very present in the violent main character Captain Vidal in Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) directed by Guillermo del Toro.

Mark Gatiss delivers his lines/anecdotes with passion but he also maintains certain intellect approach to films he is so very fond of. This is and interesting look at the history of European horror films. It have some obvious film choices but I think it is very well measured out and offers insight into lesser known films that are very essential to the canon. This documentary is recommend to anyone with interest in history of cinema.

Nosferatu (1922)


The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue (1974)
Dario Argento
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)