This summer, the Museum of Modern Art is bringing horror to the masses by mixing the class of one the world's most prestigious museums and a great deal of genre programming. A new series titled Horror: Messaging the Monstrous kicks off later this week and will feature a ton of screenings of horror classics, as well as discussions with acclaimed filmmakers.
Billed as a ten-week film series, it includes over 110 features and a selection of short films making for quite the to-do list for those in the New York area. The selection of films is said to "capture the horror genre's uncanny ability to express the lurking fears of a society and the anxieties caused by social, cultural, and political change." The whole thing is being presented in the Museum's Titus Theaters in the Black Family Film Center from June 23 through September 5 and will be organized weekly by fluid themes that shaped how the works were conceived. Some of these themes include Slasher, Horror of Place, the Undead, Creatures, Folk Tales, Women Make Horror, Body Horror, Eco Horror, Messaging Race, and Messaging Gender. Ron Magliozzi, Curator of the Department of Film, had this to say:
"Messaging the Monstrous proposes that horror, among the oldest forms of popular entertainment, has evolved to become the signature motion picture genre of the early 21st century. A fertile network of cross-pollinating sub-genres have coalesced to provide a diverse community of filmmakers and audiences with a compelling, at its best intellectually stimulating, mind-expanding fictional medium for dealing with real-world issues of personal and global concern."
The exhibition features films from 19 countries, with the United States, Europe, and Asia all represented. The earliest film on the list is Alfred Hitchcock's timeless 1960 classic Psycho, with programming leading all the way up to the '90s as well as 21st-century films that are, per MoMA, "from emerging voices" hailing from Guatemala, Ireland, Iran, Laos, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, and Zambia. There will also be a focused look at emerging independent women filmmakers making horror over the last decade.
Horror: Messaging the Monstrous will kick things off in style with a 3D screening of George A. Romero's 1978 classic Dawn of the Dead. Some of the other highlights include a screening of Romero's original zombie classic Night of the Living Dead, the New York premiere of the new 40th-anniversary restoration of John Carpenter's The Thing (1982), and the New York City premiere of Garth Maxwell's rarely seen masterwork Jack Be Nimble. Some of the post-screening discussions include the likes of Maxwell, Jeff Barnaby (Blood Quantum, Rhymes for Young Ghouls), Karen Arthur (The Mafu Cage), Stephanie Rothman (The Velvet Vampire), Douglas Buck (Family Portraits), and Mary Lambert (Pet Sematary).
Horror: Messaging the Monstrous kicks off on June 23. A full list of films will be released in the coming weeks and can be found at MoMA.org.