Rhymes For Young Ghouls. 2013. Canada. Written and directed by Jeff Barnaby. Courtesy of Prospector Films.
Exhibition to Feature 10 Weeks’ Worth of Films from Psycho (1960) to Present Day from June 23 through September 5
The Museum of Modern Art announces Horror: Messaging the Monstrous, a 10-week film series that includes over 110 features and a selection of short films that 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. Presented in the Museum’s Titus Theaters in the Black Family Film Center from June 23 through September 5, 2022, Horror: Messaging the Monstrous is organized weekly by fluid themes that shaped how the works were conceived: Slasher, Horror of Place, the Undead, Creatures, Folk Tales, Women Make Horror, Body Horror, Eco Horror, Messaging Race, and Messaging Gender. The exhibition features films from 19 countries, including genre benchmarks from the United States, Europe, and Asia, starting with Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) and spanning the 1970s into the 1990s; 21st-century films from emerging voices in Guatemala, Ireland, Iran, Laos, Mexico, South Africa, South Korea, and Zambia; and a focused look at emerging independent women filmmakers making horror over the last decade. Horror: Messaging the Monstrous is organized by Ron Magliozzi, Curator, and Brittany Shaw, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Film, with Caryn Coleman, guest curator.
The exhibition opens with a 3D screening of George A. Romero’s horror classic Dawn of the Living Dead (1978). Other highlights include a screening of Night of the Living Dead (1968), which was restored in 2016 by MoMA and the Film Foundation, in MoMA’s Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden on July 27; the New York premiere of the new 40th anniversary restoration of The Thing (1982) on August 29; the New York City premiere of Garth Maxwell’s rarely seen masterwork Jack Be Nimble (1993) on July 12; and postscreening discussions with 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).
“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,” said Ron Magliozzi, Curator, Department of Film. “A fertile network of crosspollinating 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.”
Much like musicals and gangster films during the Depression of the 1930s, or sciencefiction amid the threat of McCarthyism and nuclear war in the 1950s, horror movies reflect the major concerns of each generation and serve as a popular barometer of troubled times. The genre provides a cinematic language for unleashing uncertainty, distrust, uncomfortable laughter, anger, and nihilistic rage across such polarizing subjects as gender equality and female sexuality (Slumber Party Massacre, Ginger Snaps, Jennifer’s Body); the sanctity of the family (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Relic); sexual difference and alternative lifestyles (Hellraiser, Teeth, Jack Be Nimble); cultures of racism (Tales from the Hood, Blood Quantum, Get Out); the conflict of truth and belief (The Wicker Man, The Babadook); ecological crisis and responsibility (The Long Weekend, Unearth, Gaia); cultural disintegration (We Are What We Are, The Host, The Sadness); and governmental oppression (La Llorona, His House).
This series roster of directors includes foundational masters like George A. Romero, Wes Craven, Stephanie Rothman, Karen Arthur, John Carpenter, Clive Barker, Sam Rami, Rusty Cundieff, James Bond III, Mario Bava, Bob Clark, David Cronenberg, Tobe Hooper, and Frank Henenlotter; such representatives of the new generation refining 21st-century horror as Jennifer Kent, Jordan Peele, Karyn Kusama, Bong Joon-ho, Jeff Barnaby, Philip Ridley, Remi Weekes, Jorge Michel Grau, Julia Ducournau, Pascal Laugier, Alexandre Aja, Julien Maury, and Alexandre Bustillo; and fan-favorite stars like Karen Black, Carol Kane, Adrienne Barbeau, Marlene Clark, Duane Jones, Tony Todd, Bruce Campbell, and Anthony Perkins, whose indelible performances are touchstones of the genre.
Horror Comes Home, a mini-program of Horror: Messaging the Monstrous, will be simultaneously co presented on MoMA’s virtual cinema platform available to members. Horror Comes Home addresses the influence that horror films being available for home viewing has had on viewership, censorship, and the cultural psyche. The program includes 10 films classified on the infamous “Video Nasty” list created in the United Kingdom in the 1980s, when a moral panic stoked fear of mass access to home video proliferation. Now a badge of honor, these Video Nasties are emblematic of censorship and the fear of violence begetting more violence if viewed in private. The virtual component of Horror: Messaging the Monstrous will also include horror documentaries to provide context to the in-person series.
A full screening schedule for Horror: Messaging the Monstrous and Horror Comes Home will be announced in the coming weeks on moma.org. An initial selection of films can be found below:
28 Days Later. 2002. Great Britain. Directed by Danny Boyle. Written by Alex Garland. With Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston, Megan Burns, Brendan Gleeson. 113 min.
A Bay of Blood (aka Twitch of the Death Nerve). 1971. Italy. Directed by Mario Bava. Screenplay by Mario Bava, Giuseppe Zaccariello, Filippo Ottoni. With Claudine Auger, Luigi Pistilli, Claudio Velonté, Laura Betti, Leopoldo Trieste, Brigitte Skay. In Italian; English subtitles. 84 min.
Amulet. 2020. Great Britain. Written and directed by Romola Garai. With Carla Juri, Imelda Staunton, Alex Secareanu. 99 min.
The Babadook. 2014. Australia. Written and directed by Jennifer Kent. With Eddie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Hayley McElhinney, Daniel Henshall, Barbara West, Ben Winspear. 94 min.
Black Christmas. 1974. Canada. Directed by Bob Clark. Written by A. Roy Moore. With Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, John Saxon. 98 min.
The Blair Witch Project. 1999. USA. Written and directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez. With Heather Donahue, Michael Williams, Joshua Leonard. 81 min.
Bones. 2001. USA. Directed by Ernest Dickerson. Written by Adam Simon, Tim Metcalfe. With Snoop Dogg, Pam Grier, Khalil Kain, Clifton Powell, Bianca Lawson, Michael T. Weiss. In English, French, Spanish. 96 min.
Burnt Offerings. 1976. USA. Directed by Dan Curtis. Written by Curtis and William F. Nolan, based on novel by Robert Marasco. With Karen Black, Oliver Reed, Burgess Meredith, Eileen Heckart, Lee H. Montgomery, Dub Taylor, Bette Davis. 116 min.
Cabin Fever. 2002. USA. Directed by Eli Roth. Written by Roth, Randy Pearlstein. With Rider Strong, Jordan Ladd, James DeBello, Cerina Vincent, Joey Kern, Arie Verveen, Giuseppe Andrews. 94 min.
The Cabin in the Woods. 2011. USA. Directed by Drew Goddard. Written by Joss Whedon and Goddard. With Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchinson, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford. 95 min.
The Company of Wolves. 1984. Great Britain. Directed by Neil Jordan. Written by Angela Carter and Jordan. With Angela Lansbury, David Warner, Micha Bergese, Sarah Patterson. 95 min.
The Crazies. 1973. USA. Written and directed by George A. Romero, based on novel The Mad People by Paul McCollough. With Lane Carroll, W.G. McMillan, Harold Wayne Jones, Lloyd Hollar, Lynn Lowry, Richard Liberty. 103 min.
The Cremator. 1969. Czechoslovakia. Directed by Juraj Herz. Written by Ladislav Fuks, Herz. With Rudolf Hrušínský, Vlasta Chramostová. In Czech, Hebrew; English subtitles. 95 min.
Dawn of the Dead. 1978. USA/Italy. Written and directed by George A. Romero. With David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott Reininger, Gaylen Ross. 127 min.
Day of the Dead. 1985. USA. Written and directed by George A. Romero. With Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Joe Pilato, Jarlath Conroy, Richard Liberty. 100 min.
Deathdream. 1974. USA/Canada. Directed by Bob Clark. Written by Alan Ormsby. With John Marley, Lynn Carlin, Richard Backus, Henderson Forsythe. 88 min.
Def by Temptation. 1990. USA. Written and directed by James Bond III. With James Bond III, Kadeem Hardison, Bill Nunn, Samuel L. Jackson, Minnie Gentry, Rony Clanton, John Canada Terrell, Cynthia Bond. 94 min.
Dokhtari dar šab tanhâ be xâne miravad (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night). 2014. USA. Written and directed by Ana Lily Amirpour. With Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Mozhan Marnò, Marshall Manesh, Dominic Rains. In Persian; English subtitles. 101 min.
Drag Me To Hell. 2009. USA. Directed by Sam Raimi. Written by Sam Raimi and Ivan Raimi. With Alison Lohman, Justin Long, Loma Raver, Dileep Rao, David Paymer, Adriana Barraza. In English, Spanish. 99 min.
The Evil Dead. 1981. USA. Written and directed by Sam Raimi. With Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Richard DeManincor, Betsy Baker, Theresa Tilly. 85 min.
Family Portraits: A Trilogy of America. 2003. USA. Written and directed by Douglas Buck. With Sally Conway, Larry Fessenden, Beth Glover, Alex Splendore, David Thornton, Anderson William. 103 min.
The Fly. 1986. USA. Directed by David Cronenberg. Screenplay by Charles Edward Pogue, Cronenberg, based on novel by George Langelaan. With Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz. 96 min.
Friday the 13th Part II. 1981. USA. Directed by Steve Miner. Written by Ron Kurz, based on characters by Victor Miller. With Adrienne King, Amy Steel, John Furey. 87 min.
Gaia. 2021. South Africa. Directed by Jaco Bouwer. Screenplay by Tertius Kapp. With Monique Rockman, Carel Nel, Alex van Dyk, Anthony Oseyemi. In English, Afrikaans; English subtitles. 96 min.
Ganja & Hess. 1973. USA. Written and directed by Bill Gunn. With Marlene Clark, Duane Jones. 78 min.
Get Out. 2017. USA. Written and directed by Jordan Peele. With Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Stephen Root, Catherine Keener. 104 min.
Grave (Raw). 2016. France/Belgium. Written and directed by Julia Ducournau. With Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Laurent Lucas. In French; English subtitles. 99 min.
The Green Inferno. 2013. USA. Directed by Eli Roth. Screenplay by Roth, Guillermo Amoedo. With Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Daryl Sabara, Kirby Bliss Blanton, Sky Ferreira, Magda Apanowicz, Nicolás Martinez, Aaron Burns, Ignacia Allaman, Ramón Llao, Richard Burgi. 100 min.
Gwoemul (The Host). 2006. South Korea. Directed by Bong Joon-ho. Written by Joon-ho, Ha Won-jun, Baek Chul-hyun. With Song Kang-ho, Byun Hee-bong, Park Hae-il, Bae Doona, Go Ah-sung. In Korean, English; English subtitles. 119 min.
Haute Tension (High Tension). 2003. France. Directed by Alexandre Aja. Written by Aja and Grégory Levasseur. With Cécile de France, Maïwen, Philippe Nahon. In French; English subtitles. 95 min.
Heartless. 2009. Great Britain. Written and directed by Philip Ridley. With Jim Sturgess, Joseph Mawle, Noel Clarke, Clémence Poésy, Nikita Mistry, Timothy Spall. 114 min.
Hostel. 2005. USA/Czech Republic. Written and directed by Eli Roth. With Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, Eyþór Guðjónsson, Barbara Nedeljáková, Rick Hoffman. 94 min.
I Am Not a Witch. 2017. Great Britain/France/Germany/Zambia. Written and directed by Rungano Nyoni. With Maggie Mulubwa. In English, Bemba, Nyanja. 93 min.
It Follows. 2014. USA. Written and directed by David Robert Mitchell. With Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Daniel Zovatto, Jake Weary, Olivia Luccardi, Lili Sepe. 100 min.
Jack Be Nimble. 1993. New Zealand. Directed by Garth Maxwell. Written by Maxwell and Rex Pilgrim. With Alexis Arquette, Sarah Smuts-Kennedy, Bruno Lawrence. 92 min.
Jennifer’s Body. 2009. USA. Directed by Karyn Kusama. Written by Diablo Cody. With Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Simmons, J.K. Simmons, Amy Sedaris, Adam Brody. 102 min.
Jungfrukällan (The Virgin Spring). 1960. Sweden. Directed by Ingmar Bergman. Written by Ulla Isaksson. With Max von Sydow, Birgitta Valberg, Gunnel Lindblom, Birgitta Pettersson. In Swedish; English subtitles. 89 min.
Knives and Skin. 2019. USA. Written and directed by Jennifer Reeder. With Raven Whitley, Ty Olwin, Marika Engelhardt. 111 min.
Las maschera del demonio (Black Sunday). 1960. Italy. Written and directed by Mario Bava, based on novel Viy by Nikolai Gogol. With Barbara Steele, John Richardson, Andrea Checchi, Ivo Garrani, Arturo Dominici, Enrico Olivieri. In Italian; English subtitles. 87 min.
The Last House on the Left. 1972. USA. Written and directed by Wes Craven. With Sandra Peabody, Lucy Grantham, David A. Hess, Fred Lincoln, Jeramie Rain, Marc Sheffler. 84 min.
Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In). 2008. Sweden. Directed by Tomas Alfredson. Screenplay by John Ajvide Lindqvist. With Kåre Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Ika Nord, Peter Carlberg. In Swedish; English subtitles. 114 min.
Long Weekend. 1978. Australia. Directed by Colin Eggleston. Screenplay by Everett DeRoche. With John Hargreaves, Briony Behets. 92 min. Courtesy of American Genre Film Archive.
Mafu Cage. 1978. USA. Directed by Karen Arthur. Written by Don Chastain, based on novel by Eric Westphal. With Carol Kane, Lee Grant. 104 min.
Master. 2022. USA. Written and directed by Mariama Diallo. With Regina Hall, Zoe Renee, Amber Gray, Molly Bernard, Nike Kadri. 99 min.
Night of the Living Dead. 1968. USA. Directed by George A. Romero. Screenplay by John Russo, Romero. With Duane Jones, Judith O’Dea, Marilyn Eastman, Karl Hardman, Judith Ridley, Keith Wayne. 96 min.
Ōdishon (Audition). 1999. Japan. Directed by Takashi Miike. Screenplay by Daisuke Tengan, based on novel by Ryu Murakami. With Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina. In Japanese; English subtitles. 113 min.
Pet Sematary. 1989. USA. Directed by Mary Lambert. Screenplay by Stephen King. With Dale Midkiff, Fred Gwynne, Denise Crosby, Brad Greenquist, Michael Lombard, Miko Hughes, Blaze Berdahl. 103 min.
Psycho. 1960. USA. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Screenplay by Joseph Stefano, based on novel by Robert Bloch. With Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, John McIntire, Janet Leigh. 109 min.
The Reflecting Skin. 1990. Great Britain/Canada. Written and directed by Philip Ridley. With Viggo Mortensen, Lindsay Duncan, Jeremy Cooper. 95 min.
Relic. 2020. Australia. Written and directed by Natalie Erika James. With Emily Mortimer, Robyn Nevin, Bella Heathcote. 89 min.
Saint Maud. 2019. Great Britain. Written and directed by Rose Glass. With Morfydd Clark, Jennifer Ehle. 84 min.
Shivers. 1975. Canada. Written and directed by David Cronenberg. With Paul Hampton, Lynn Lowry, Barbara Steele. 87 min.
Slumber Party Massacre. 1982. USA. Directed by Amy Holden Jones. Written by Rita Mae Brown. With Michele Michaels, Robin Stille, Michael Villella. 76 min.
Spring. 2014. USA. Directed by Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. Written by Benson. With Lou Taylor Pucci, Nadia Hilker. 109 min.
Tales from the Hood. 1995. USA. Directed by Rusty Cundieff. Written by Cundieff and Darin Scott. With Corbin Bernsen, Rosalind Cash, Rusty Cundieff, David Alan Grier, Anthony Griffith, Wings Hauser, Lamont Bentley, Paula Jai Parker, Joe Torry, Clarence Williams III. 98 min.
Teeth. 2007. USA. Written and directed by Mitchell Lichtenstein. With Jess Weixler, John Hensley, Josh Pais, Hale Appleman, Ashley Springer, Lenny Von Dohlen. 94 min.
Tetsuo: The Iron Man. 1989. Japan. Written and directed by Shinya Tsukamoto. With Tomorowo Taguchi, Kei Fujiwara, Shinya Tsukamoto. In Japanese; English subtitles. 67 min.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2. 1986. USA. Directed by Tobe Hooper. Written by L.M. Kit Carson. With Dennis Hopper, Caroline Williams, Bill Moseley, Jim Siedow, Bill Johnson. 101 min.
The Thing. 1982. USA. Directed by John Carpenter. Screenplay by Bill Lancaster, based on novel by John W. Campbell Jr. With Kurt Russell. 109 min. 4K restoration courtesy of Universal.
Un couteau dans le cœur (Knife + Heart). 2018. France. Directed by Yann Gonzalez. Written by Gonzalez, Christiano Mangione. With Vanessa Paradis, Nicolas Maury, Kate Moran, Jonathan Genet, Romane Bohringer. In French; English subtitles. 102 min.
The Velvet Vampire. 1971. USA. Directed by Stephanie Rothman. Written by Rothman, Charles S. Swartz, Maurice Jules. With Celeste Yarnall, Michael Blodgett, Sherry Miles, Gene Shane, Jerry Daniels, Sandy Ward, Paul Prokop. 80 min.
The Vigil. 2019. USA. Written and directed by Keith Thomas. With Dave Davis, Menashe Lustig, Malky Goldman, Fred Melamed, Lynn Cohen, Nati Rabinowitz. In English, Yiddish. 89 min.
We’re All Going to the World’s Fair. 2021. USA. Written and directed by Jane Schoenbrun. With Anna Cobb, Michael J. Rogers. 86 min.
The Wicker Man. 1973. Great Britain. Directed by Robin Hardy. Screenplay by Anthony Shaffer. With Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland, Diane Cilento. Ingrid Pitt, Christopher Lee. 88 min.
Wolfen. 1981. USA. Directed by Michael Wadleigh. Screenplay by David M. Eyre, Jr., Michael Wadleigh, Eric Roth, based on novel by Whitley Streiber. With Albert Finner, Diane Venora, Edward James Olmos, Gregory Hines, Tom Noonan. 114 min.
Film at MoMA is made possible by CHANEL.
Additional support is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership support for the Annual Film Fund is provided by Debra and Leon D. Black and by Steven Tisch, with major contributions from The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Karen and Gary Winnick, and The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston.