October 23, 2017

Screen Time: Halloween Edition

From 'Cropsey.' Photo: Tony Carannante.

Screen Time is your curated weekly guide to excellent documentaries and nonfiction programs that you can watch at home. This week, we spotlight a few terrifying real-world stories.

Streaming at Hulu is Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio's Cropsey, which investigates an urban legend surrounding the disappearance of five children on Staten Island. Variety wrote that it "has all the trappings of a true-crime TV special, but with an undercurrent of cultural exposition that is intelligent, profound and unsettling." 

Streaming on Netflix (and for 99 cents on iTunes) is Rodney Ascher's The Nightmare, which explores the horror of sleep paralysis, a temporary disorder in which the sufferer can't move. Uproxx calls it "the scariest movie on Netflix."

Available to rent on Amazon is Morgan Spurlock's Rats, which ventures into rat-dominated environments, bringing you face to face with the little, misunderstood creatures that live and breathe all around you. Business Insider calls it "the scariest thing you'll watch this Halloween."

Streaming on YouTube is Kurt Kuenne's Dear Zachary: A Letter To a Son About His Father, a gut-wrenching, deeply personal true-crime investigation that the Los Angeles Times called "undeniably shattering." 

Premiering next Monday, October 30, on American Masters is Eric Stange's Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive, which draws on the rich palette of Poe's evocative imagery and sharply drawn plots to tell the real story of the notorious author.