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Arts & Culture

The Best of Horror Films: EMP’s Latest Exhibit

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credit:  Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Horror films scare us, so why do we like them? Vampires, monsters, and murderers have fascinated audiences for centuries. Today the movies that feature them dominate the box office, reinforcing the historical significance and cultural relevance of the horror genre.

Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film , a new exhibit organized by EMP and starting Sunday, October 2, takes a look at the role that horror plays in the human experience. Three iconic horror directors–Roger Corman, John Landis, and Eli Roth–have curated a selection of their favorite films, providing a solid foundation on which audiences can safely explore the spectrum of cinematic horror, from its inception at the turn of the 20th century to the present day.

Visitors will get a chance to view iconic artifacts, including the script from Night of the Living Dead, the alien creature suit from Alien,the scavenger demon from Constantine, Jack Torrance’s axe from The Shining, the original “Gill Man” mask used in Creature from the Black Lagoon, Bram Stoker’s Dracula manuscript, and other horror film memorabilia.

It’s an interactive exhibit, too! Ready for goosebumps?

Head into the Scream Booth: Scream on cue as you watch horror film footage in a soundproof booth. A camera memorializes the moment with multiple shots displayed just outside the stall.

What was that noise? Horror Soundscapes: Explore the fundamental music elements and scoring techniques used in horror to enhance a cinematic sense of suspense, dread, and terror.

Is it the Mummy? Or Dracula? Monster Timeline: A large infographic defines the monster archetypes of horror film, examines their individual particularities, and explores why they continue to inhabit the collective conscious of popular culture.

Who goes there? Shadow Monsters: Philip Worthington’s interactive installation allows visitors to watch as their projected shadows morph into monsters.

BEWARE! Parents, due to the subject matter explored herein, this exhibition has a suggested rating of PG-13. Check out http://www.empmuseum.org for more information on this exhibit at EMP.

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