Binge-worthy Netflix Documentaries

The truth is, I watch a lot of documentaries. And Netflix seems to be churning them out these days. Most of us are still staying in mostly so now is the perfect time to spend an evening engrossed in true life stories of crime and even murder. Here’s what I’ve been binging recently…

‘Night Stalker: The Hunt For a Serial Killer’

Apart from being truly terrifying, the ‘Night Stalker’ is an engrossing and ultimately chilling story of one police force and their race against time to find a murderer, burglar, kidnapper and rapist who will just not stop. While I would love to spill the beans on the who and what, I’ll leave the spoilers to one side because this account that features interviews, archive footage and of course re-enactments that place you in the San Francisco Bay area during the mid 80’s. You’ll live through the ups and downs of an investigation campaign that was hampered by politics and press.

‘Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel’

If you like more tangents than high school trigonometry then this is the documentary for you! This one focuses eventually on the shady past and present of a downtown Los Angeles hotel while also trying to get to the bottom of one woman’s disappearance and then resulting investigation that goes into it. There’s a bigger picture based on the impact of do it yourself investigators online basically interfering and figuring stuff out for themselves. It’s not a smooth watch as I said it goes off on various random tangents to fill time seemingly. This all could have been done in an hour max – but saying that I still binged it in one sitting. I didn’t like the former manager either.

‘Challenger: The Final Flight’

What does NASA stand for? Not A Straight Answer… truthfully space travel captivates me and this doc I zipped through in one sitting. Here we see the story of the fateful Challenger disaster where a crew of astronauts, some civilian, killed in what probably could have been avoided. The production value is through the roof (just watch the intro) along with the effort to tell a story that will probably make you a little angry and thinking NASA are probably dirtbags. It’s worth a look.

‘Murder Among the Mormons’

Ah the state of Utah, home of the church of the latter day saints – that’s Mormons to the less knowledgeable and this very recently released documentary is kind of about them while also being about someone who ultimately exploited them. That’s all the spoiler I can muster but after some high stakes exploits and even some bombing, you’ll be surprised at who was behind it all in what I perceived as a genius but wholly evil attempt at trying to make money. The interviews are the true gem in this one as their accounts take you back to the 80’s and tell all in a series I watched all in a sitting. It’s only 3 parts so don’t sweat it and I thought it was worth a look!

Well that wraps up my recent watches on Netflix, what have you been binging recently?

Spooky Season Movie Recommendations

To be perfectly honest I’ve been neglecting my horror/thriller passion since this year kind of turned into one but now October is upon us and for those like me who enjoy Spooky Season; let’s explore what movies I recommend to celebrate this time of the year…

Halloween (2018)

I’ve been a fan of the Michael Myers Halloween saga for quite some time and it probably stands as my favourite slasher film series up to Halloween H20. Yes there probably are a few ropey sequels in that collection but the first one was also the first ever slasher film and it paved the way. Spooky season would not be the same without that piano tune straddled by the good old mask wearing knife yielding speechless murderer who stalks the leaf fallen neighbourhood of Haddonfield in search of kills. The concept has been emulated many times in cinema but without the same effect.

A few years back some wise folks decided to reboot the franchise but effectively started again by discounting every film that followed the original to pretty decent standards. I thought it was so good upon release I visited the cinema twice to watch this sequel that packs one hell of a kill count. Jamie Lee Curtis deserves an honourable mention as she returns and picks up forty years later albeit hardened by the trauma of the first film’s events.

Fun fact: The town which my debut novel is based takes inspiration from Haddonfield and also the name of the high school I went to called Harlington making the name ‘Haddintgon’ – cool huh?


Every attempt to create a scary film about an evil fish has fallen flat since 1975’s Jaws which holds up incredibly well for today’s standards. The evil fish or great white shark serves as just a side vessel for the story which is really about people being stupid and knowing there is a threat out there so don’t go out there – this sounds incredibly 2020…

The small town trope (which works in near enough every horror setting) or the quiet Island of Amity relies heavily upon seasonal trade in the summer and now a man eating shark could threaten that. The main character is new in town and also the Sherriff, he tries to balance local politics while taking down this threat which looms every so gradually in a film that is perfectly paced, characterised and overall quite scary. The sheer chemistry later on in the film between the three main characters hasn’t been emulated too often in cinema after making things all the more immersive. The shark, which looks kind of fake and was only used sparsely for that reason just heightens the terror. Don’t go into the water – it’s October anyway…

Grave Encounters

I’m a huge fan of found footage films probably because the concept of reality is heightened with in them. Over the years and since the Blair Witch Project some film makers have gone out of their way to make a film seem real and so comes along ‘Grave Encounters’ which is not only a found footage film but it also ticks a huge amount of horror boxes.

The film is a collection of footage all spliced together in continuity that relays the making of a paranormal investigation show called Grave Encounters. You see behind the scenes shenanigans from a highly likeable team as they put together the last episode of their first series, this one being a ‘lock in’ at a vast but mostly abandoned institution. The setting of this film is harrowingly perfect. Corridors upon corridors lay untouched from the primitive days of mental health care. Wheelchairs and gurneys lay empty, doors are wide open from the hundreds of cells, a bathtub sits unused – trust me they got the location bang on in this one! The first person view of this setting at night is one of nightmares.

You see all the usual stuff that paranormal investigation shows do, they even bring in a physic who is just a guy in shades and a leather jacket. For the purpose of the show, they ask the caretaker to lock them in overnight and that’s when it begins. You’ll have to watch it to find out, but trust me it’s worth a look and it’s terrifyingly awesome.

The Cabin in the Woods

For some this may appear to be an odd choice to include but to me the Cabin in the Woods is an incredible yet wonderfully fun film that turns every trope of the genre on it’s head. We like genre bending here at the Hall of Information and if you didn’t like this film it’s probably because you expected it to just be about a creepy cabin in the woods – that’s been done too many times before and even this film knows that.

Joss Whedon had a lot of involvement in this one, you can tell by the casting and the story telling which starts in one place and takes you to somewhere completely random and unchartered. It’s fun, outrageous and overall unexpected. Give it a try.

The Conjuring Series

Yep, the whole series that falls under the Conjuring umbrella is worth your time. I must start with a fair warning; these films are full of jump scares, but not the cheap jump scares you see in cheap horror, the jump scares in this series normally build to one with purpose and these films are well written, well paced and stand nowhere near the usual hokey-ness of the genre. From the first one all the way through to the creepy ‘Annabelle’ series and even ‘the Nun’; these films are chilling, thrilling and walk the tightrope of paranormal and possessions.

Fascinating Horror Youtube Channel

I might have a problem with being obsessed with true but horrifying tales and although this is not a movie it’s a recommendation because the Fascinating Horror channel over on YouTube is one I cannot get enough of. You can see from the screenshot below how many videos I have steamed into. From bizarre naturally occurring events to man made disasters that have truly chilling outcomes, this is a channel not to be missed. The narration style is clear, concise and well paced. Saying that the subject matter is also very well researched but a little fu**ed up also.

Over to you…

That wraps up just a snippet of stuff I’ve been watching so far but October is a long month so hit me up with any recommendations in the comments below…