Mental Health and Horror

Mental Health and Horror: A Documentary, a new film “about the positive impact & cathartic releases that horror can have on those living with mental illnesses,” recently launched its crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. The movie is already in production, but is looking to raise $30,000 to pay the crew and offset its interview costs.

Jonathan Barkan, a friend of /Film, is making his feature writing and directing debut with this documentary, and we’re happy to announce a few more actors who will be participating in the project as interviewees.

Who is Involved With This Documentary?

We’re happy to exclusively reveal that Kelli Maroney (Chopping Mall, Night of the Comet), Preston Fassel (Our Lady of the Inferno), Alex Noyer (Sound of Violence), Paul Komoda (Harbinger Down), and Marcus Pinn (Pinnland Empire) are going to be participating in this doc as interviewees. They’ll be joining the previously announced Geretta Geretta (Demons), Breanna Whipple (Heavy Horror), Lucky McKee (The Woman), Tom McLoughlin (Friday the 13th Part VI), Chet Zar (The Blob, Darkman), Issa López (Tigers Are Not Afraid), and Simon Boswell (Shallow Grave, Clive Barker’s Lord of Illusions), among others.

A Film With Two Goals

“When the idea of this documentary came into my mind, it refused to let go,” Barkan said in a director’s statement:

“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. 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.”

Barkan and his team are taking this subject matter very seriously, and are working with mental health professionals to make sure the documentary is not exploitative or disrespectful. This is a topic that hasn’t explicitly been explored in the documentary format before, so we’re excited to see what Barkan, executive producers Andrew Hawkins, David Lawson Jr. (Spring, The Endless, Synchronic), and producer Alice Collins (Fountaine and the Vengeful Nun Who Wouldn’t Die), and producers Zena Dixon and BJ Colangelo (Labrys, Deathcember) have up their sleeve.

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