Cinepunx published their picks of "Four Chilling Documentary and Feature Film Pairings" that are just right for the spooky season. I was delighted that my old friend and Room 237 director Rodney Ascher's excellent The Nightmare (2015) about sleep paralysis was at the top of their list, paired with Dead Awake (2016).
Their other suggestions include Polybius: The Game That Doesn't Exist (2017) with Sequence Break (2017); The Fear Is Real: Reinvestigating the Haunting In Connecticut (2009) and The Haunting in Connecticut (2009); and Hellier (2017) and The Descent (2005). What are some others you recommend? Post in the comments.
With beautiful cinematography and an eerie theme to set the mood, HELLIER does not feel like your typical paranormal investigation series. Directed by Karl Pfeiffer, it follows executive producers and "professional weirdos" Greg and Dana Newkirk along with other paranormal researchers, Connor Randall and Tyler Strand, as they search for answers after receiving a mysterious email. The team lands in Hellier, Kentucky and soon uncovers a chain of synchronicities that lead down some of the weirdest and most surprising rabbit holes I've ever seen in a paranormal series. From hobgoblins and alien abductions to EYES WIDE SHUT-level conspiracies, HELLIER manages to fit together seemingly unrelated phenomena into one bizarre and deeply unsettling puzzle. It's a slow burn for sure, but the extreme weird-factor and unusual stream of coincidences keep the series highly compelling.
With the Mammoth Cave system as one of the most disturbing pieces of the HELLIER puzzle, THE DESCENT seems like an appropriate pairing here. Directed by Neil Marshall (HELLBOY, TALES OF HALLOWEEN), this British horror film follows six women's spelunking adventure near North Carolina. As HELLIER teaches us, entering an Appalachian cave system can only lead to problems, and in the case of THE DESCENT, it is a humanoid creature, or crawler, the group must survive. Like HELLIER, this film really highlights the terror of what stirs below the surface and out of sight until accidentally uncovered.