When an alien invasion hits a South London “block” (or housing project if you’re in America), it’s up to a local teenage gang to defend their home. Joe Cornish's debut film casts its heroes as some of the most marginalized residents of the community, a subversive play on nationalism, class and racism. Attack the Block doesn’t involve the military, police or anyone outside of the Block in a meaningful way. The cavalry never arrives creating a tense, nervy sci-fi parable for contemporary class relations which become all the more relevant in the shadow of the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire. Featuring John Boyega in his breakout role as the would-be gang leader Moses who wonders if the aliens were sent by the government to wipe out the lower classes, Attack the Block is funny, inventive and a scarily urgent commentary on modern class warfare.
The Blob may seem like the worst instincts of the horror genre, a rolling gelatinous piece of murderous goop that unsuspecting nitwits can’t get out of their own way to avoid. However, The Blob is more than its title. Chuck Russell and Frank Darabont’s reimagining of the 1958 film places the emphasis on likeable characters and some truly messed up body horror. When a small town in California comes face to face with the titular Blob, who’s far more cunning than expected, it’s up to the few people who are aware of its existence to try and save their town. Russell and Darabont, coming off their previous collaboration Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, bring the paranoia of Philip Kaufmann’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers and startlingly gruesome practical effects into an 80s teen b-movie. Set during the height of Reagan-era politics, The Blob showcases that Mom and Dad definitely don’t know best.
Salem Horror Fest is thrilled to present this exclusive opportunity to shape your future and reveal more about your past and present in a private tarot reading with Rachel True.
Delving into a century of genre films that by turns utilized, caricatured, exploited, sidelined, and finally embraced them, Horror Noire traces the untold history of Black Americans in Hollywood through their connection to the horror genre. Adapting Robin Means Coleman’s seminal book, HORROR NOIRE will present the living and the dead, using new and archival interviews from scholars and creators; the voices who survived the genre’s past trends, to those shaping its future. A SHUDDER ORIGINAL.
Few films are tense, paranoid, grisly and awe-inspiring as John Carpenter’s remake of The Thing. When an American research station in Antarctica is besieged by an unknown assailant who they soon discover it is an alien life form that can infect anyone of them. The Thing bombed at the box office upon its release but has become known as one of the greatest horror films of all time. While many invasion films focus on the us-versus-them approach, The Thing posited that the call could be coming from inside the house so to speak. By nature of the alien being able to assume control of anyone on the base, it mirrored the neurosis of the age from the emerging AIDS crisis to the ongoing Cold War, a horrific enemy was no longer denoted by fangs and a cape, it was already walking among us.
Didn’t your parents tell you to never get in a car with a stranger? Stranger Danger may have cooled off by 2013, but Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin did everything it could to reignite that fear. When the alien Laura (Scarlett Johansson) enters our world as a female for a very specific task her determination begins to diminish the more she interacts with humanity. Under the Skin is about an invasion of one, a sole woman who both entrances and distances us, who is familiar but unknowable. It is an examination of those live on the fringes of society and what happens when we turn a blind eye to the plight of others. Under the Skin remains one of the most chilling and unsettling portrayals of what remains of humanity when we begin to strip away our layers.
The Faculty of Horror podcast will return to Salem Horror Fest for a third annual live show. Following a double feature screening of John Carpenter’s The Thing and Under the Skin, hosts Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West will provide insight and analysis focused on the latter film released in 2013 featuring Scarlett Johansson.
Produced independently in Toronto, Ontario, The Faculty of Horror podcast offers deep discussions about classic and contemporary horror films from an academic perspective.
In the new documentary Scream, Queen: My Nightmare on Elm Street, actor Mark Patton revisits and reveals the monsters that lied within the closet of Hollywood throughout the eighties.
Rachel True is a badass witch. You probably know her most as one of the stars in The Craft and Half-Baked, but when she’s not forecasting your future over a deck of her own designed tarot cards or calling out the racist exclusion from convention reunions, she can be found as a talking head in the very excellent documentary Horror Noire: The Black History of Horror now streaming on Shudder.
Film critic Michael Gingold has been writing about genre cinema for over 30 years. Growing up in New York in the 1980s, his obsession with horror movies led him to taking his scissors to local newspapers to cut out and collect ads for just about everything he came across. Mainstream, indie, arthouse, grindhouse, you name it.
Edward Davis Wood Jr aka Ed Wood was an outcast and eternal optimist who wanted to tell stories. An aspiring filmmaker who helped create the cult and midnight canon with films like Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) and Glen or Glenda (1953), Wood was a disastrous pioneer and visionary who believed in the power of storytelling so much so he often didn’t worry about the details. Tim Burton’s lovingly camp and satirical biopic of Wood came at a time when Burton could have done almost anything after hits like Beetlejuice (1988), Batman (1989) and Edward Scissorhands (1990). The film doesn’t shy away from the queer aspects of Wood’s life such as cross-dressing making it part of Wood and his humanity rather than something to laugh at. Ed Wood is one of the strangest films about filmmaking and one of the most joyful films about being yourself.
John Waters will stop at nothing to destroy the hypocritical American Dream. In his work Waters constantly returns to the theme of confines and asks his heroes to shatter them and maybe take a shit on them. He detests moralism, puritanism and certitudes with his films working to obliterate those fallacies in the most outlandish ways possible. Serial Mom is somewhere between a studio film and Waters’ own DIY punk aesthetic lending itself to its construction as a Trojan Horse inviting a larger audiences in with a Hollywoodized aesthetic and leading woman then demolishing social constructs once the theater lights have gone down. As Beverly, Kathleen Turner shines as a mildly put-upon housewife who gets her kicks by disposing of some of the community’s more troublesome neighbors. The brilliance of Waters’ film is how effortless he and Turner depict Beverly’s actions as sensible and not in the least bit desperate.
Cassandra Peterson is returning to Salem Horror Fest, and this time she is bringing Elvira, Mistress of the Dark with her! Visit the Haunted Harbor for photo opps, autographs, and selfies! For the first time ever, Cassandra Peterson will be hosting a super exclusive, private tea time event! Unpleasant dreams do come true.
James Whale’s Frankenstein not only helped define and popularize the horror film at its outset, it is also one of the most openly queer-coded films ever made. Working with Mary Shelley’s classic text of a doctor so desperate to prevent death he creates a monster; Whale imbued the fearsome tale with iconic images while also creating sympathy for Frankenstein’s monster. Whale was one of the few men in Hollywood (particularly in the 1920s and 1930s) who lived as an openly gay man and many of gone from speculating to outright saying that Whale’s sexuality had nothing to do with his filmmaking. While the art can always be separated from the artist it’s difficult to overlook the film’s sensitive portrayal of monster cast out from society without a queer lens. Frankenstein ultimately asks us to question who is truly a monster versus who we are told is a monster.
Some films are just destined to become fan favorites. After being denied a theatrical release, Trick ‘r Treat steadily gained its status as one of the all-time classic Halloween films through word of mouth after it was released on DVD. An anthology which follows five storylines over the same Hallow’s Eve, Michael Dougherty’s films boasted a wickedly dark tongue and cheek tone, a notable cast including Anna Paquin, Brian Cox and Dylan Baker as well as gruesome effects that point to the importance of behaving yourself on Halloween when the barrier between the living and the dead is its weakest and anything can happen. Especially if you’re don’t respect the rules of Sam(hain).
Following up from his efforts on Frankenstein, director James Whale returned to the helm for its sequel Bride of Frankenstein a film that asks, what if the monster wants to be human? Donning the iconic Frankenstein Monster makeup once more Boris Karloff returns and this time he wants to be “normal”, to mate and be accepted, but of course, it all goes horribly wrong. Incorporating the constructs and confines of marriage, the early drag aesthetic of Elsa Lanchester’s Bride (dead, but makes it fashion), the widely read for filth queer villainy of Dr. Pretorius (Ernest Thesiger) and the winking nods of the Hermit, Bride of Frankenstein rejects and problematizes so-called normalcy and asks its audience to open itself to a brave new world filled with gods and monsters.
Well before Samara came out of your TV and before the Lords of Salem were played over the airwaves, metal god Sammi Curr (Tony Fields) came back from the dead to wreak havoc in the lives of his fans when the teenage Eddie (Marc Price) plays Sammi’s posthumous release backwards conjuring Sammi’s spirit. A riff on the conservative 1980s fear that shock rockers could invoke Satan at a moment’s notice, Trick or Treat embraces its camp to examine fandom and the mainstreaming of Metal. With cameos by Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne, Trick or Treat is a unique combination of the horror of Metal and the music industry with a slasher narrative, Parental Advisory sticker not included.
Few people have had a career as long and prolific as Adrienne Barbeau. Starring in notable films such as The Fog, Escape From New York, Creepshow, Swamp Thing, Back to School, Cannonball Run and the Academy Award nominated Argo, Barbeau has also found a home in television with roles on Maude, Carnivale, Drew Carey, Revenge, Sons of Anarchy, General Hospital, Criminal Minds, Grey’s Anatomy and Dimension404.
She is also the voice of Catwoman from the Batman the Animated Series and originated the role of Rizzo in the original Broadway production of Grease for which she was nominated for a Tony. John Carpenter super fans may also remember her as the voice of the computer from The Thing.
Prolific voice actor and iconic horror host John Kassir is coming to Haunted Harbor at Salem Horror Fest for a 30th anniversary celebration of Tales From the Crypt! Kassir is also the voice of Buster Bunny (Tiny Toons), Meeko (Pocahontas), Elliott (Pete’s Dragon), and hundreds of other credits in TV, film and video games including Rick and Morty, Earthworm Jim, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), The Grim Adventures of Bill & Mandy, CatDog, Hercules TV series, Eek!stravaganza, and Aaahh!!! Real Monsters.
Thackery Binx returns to Salem! Jason Marsden plays the cursed black cat in Hocus Pocus. You may also remember him as Eddie Munster (The Munsters Today), Rich Hawke (Step by Step), Dash X (Eerie Indiana), Young Clark Kent (Superman: The Animated Series ) and Nelson Burkhard (Full House).
He is also the voice of Max (A Goofy Movie, En Extremely Goofy Movie), Haku (Spirited Away - English Version), Mungo (Tarzan), The Flash (Young Justice), Chester McBadBat (The Fairly OddParents), Richie Foley / Gear (Static Shock), Nermal (The Garfield Show), and Michael (Cartoon All Stars to the Rescue) with hundreds of other credits that include DuckTales (2017), The Lion Guard, The Legend of Korra, G.I. Joe: Renegades, Batman: The Brave and the Bold, The Batman, Kim Possible, Loonatics Unleashed, W.I.T.C.H., Xiaolin Showdown, Justice League, Jungle Cubs, Extreme Ghostbusters, and Adventures of the Gummi Bears.
Legacy of the Marsten House: The Political, Cultural, and Theological Impact of Stephen King’s ‘salem’s Lot
Legacy of the Marsten House: The Political, Cultural, and Theological Impact of Stephen King’s ‘salem’s Lot will explore how this iconic novel, as well as its 1979 television adaptation, is able to traverse and interconnect politics, theology and popular culture in a compelling and thought-provoking manner as a result of its rich history, mythology, cosmogonic implications, and the metaphorical potential to lead one into contemplating their role amidst the oppressive forces of our day.
The heart of Antrum is the titular cursed feature, which purports to have been shot in the late 1970s by unknown filmmakers. It spins the tale of two siblings who perform an occult ritual in the woods, seeking closure after the death of a beloved pet… but their seemingly symbolic act may have truly unleashed Hell on Earth.
Director Stuart Gordon’s Re-Animator adapted from H.P. Lovecraft’s serialized story Herbert West: Reanimator eschews Lovecraft’s seriousness while keeping his terror and mythology. Featuring Jeffery Combs in a cult-star marking turn as West, the fun, violence and gore doesn’t let up in Gordon’s version, nor does the body count. The film both resituates Lovecraft’s work in a modern context while also letting it do most of the work with humor extending from the strangeness of West’s unrelenting pursuit of reanimating the dead within the confines of academia taking education from the ivory tower and bringing to the sublimely absurd.
When the horror genre was occupied with the bodily destruction of Torture Porn in the 2000, director Oren Peli wanted to go back to basics to scare his audience. A young couple Katie and Micha are experiencing strange phenomena in their home so Micha sets up a video camera in their bedroom to figure out who or what the culprit is. As the unseen force becomes more powerful and continues to defy explanation Micha and Katie have fewer and fewer options as they grow increasingly worn down and the entity becomes more powerful. With an ingenious marketing campaign that focused on real audiences’ terror and a voting feature which allowed curious viewers to demand a screening at their local cinema, Paranormal Activity became a grassroots-driven phenomenon with a worldwide gross of almost $200 million. Katie and Micah’s plight is at once intimate and universal, reinventing the haunted house genre for the new millennium.
Director Stuart Gordon returned to the world of H.P. Lovecraft with his follow up to Re-Animator, From Beyond a fully realized look at Lovecraft’s preponderance with Cosmic Horror, the kind of horror that exists around us but just out of reach of our perception. When Dr. Pretorius (Ted Sorel) manufactures the ability to extend the perception of the penal gland in the human brain it not only extends his consciousness but turns him in to something monstrous. Combining the terror of Lovecraft’s time, most notably confinement to a sanitarium or psychiatric ward and the conditions within them, and all the ooey-gooey 80s effects celluloid could handle, From Beyond an inter-dimensional journey into horror you won’t soon forget.
At the end of the last millennium three film students went into the woods and were never seen again. Or that’s what the marketing guru’s behind The Blair Witch Project would have you believe. Between the film’s premiere at the Sundance Festival which traumatized the unsuspecting crowd to the Curse of the Blair Witch TV special which aired in the lead up to the film, it was hard to believe the plight of Heather, Mike and Josh wasn’t real. Directors Eduardo Sánchez and Daniel Myrick created a premise simple enough to be believable while weaving in enough backstory about the Blair Witch herself to make her seem like a real part of Colonial folklore. In the 20 years since its release The Blair Witch Project has re-envisioned the American Nightmare.
'That’s la Morte: Italian Cult Cinema and the Years of Lead' is a new 80 minute documentary that considers how cult and horror film cycles came to reflect wider anxieties within 1970s Italy.
Maurizio Guarini, founding member of the synth-horror group GOBLIN, will be making his Salem debut performing a live score to DANTE’S INFERNO.
Sneaking in just before the, ahem, tail-end of the Pre-Code era in Hollywood, during which there was no ratings board to represent the moral majority and classify films, Island of Lost Souls presents a gruesome and shocking filmic realization of one of H.G. Wells most famous stories. When Edward Parker (Richard Arlen) is shipwrecked on a strange island he is taken in by the sinister Dr. Moreau (Charles Laughton). Parker soon realizes the strange creatures on the island are not born of nature but of Moreau’s own hand. Banned in twelve countries and cut by State censors in the US, Island of Lost Souls still caused a moral panic across the country cementing its place in the horror canon.
Part of the Classic Universal Monster series, James Whale’s The Invisible Man based on H.G. Wells’ novel shook film audiences to their core with groundbreaking special effects. Featuring the American screen debut of Claude Rains as Dr. Jack Griffin who discovers the formula for invisibility he decides to test the formula on himself driving him mad. While Griffin is seemingly free from society’s restraints, he is unable to control his urges and he begins to lose his humanity at a terrifying pace. The Invisible Man is one of Wells’ more insular stories focusing on the intimate relationship between the individual and social constructs both condemning and reinforcing them. Under the direction of James Whale The Invisible Man remains a timely allegory for the cost of unmitigated power.
When Michael Haneke remade his own film Funny Games ten years after the original Austrian version, he was uncompromising. A near shot-for-shot remake changed only by the language spoken on screen (English) and a cast made up of recognizable Hollywood actors Naomi Watts, Tim Roth and Michael Pitt, Funny Games 2007 was less reimagined for a new millennium and more of an amplification of Haneke’s warnings of our appetite for violence. Haneke is a provocateur with an axe to grind, an enfant terrible who remained petulant enough ten years after the original failed to provoke a response in North America beyond the art house circle to return to the story. Haneke was determined to make Funny Games accessible to a larger audience having heard that the film would not play well with subtitles in North America. His fable of a well-to-do family whose summer home is invaded by a pair of erudite young men is not only unrelentingly violent; it is an unflinching look at its audience if they are brave enough to return the gaze.
After Orson Welles scared the bejesus out of millions of unsuspecting listeners with his radio play of War of the Worlds, Hollywood created its own version laying the foundation for the apocalyptic blockbusters to come. Director Byron Haskin’s retelling of H.G. Wells’ iconic book updates the threat from Victorian London to present day California. As the aliens invade destroying everything in their path it’s up to a few Americans to figure out how to fight for survival. For a world still reeling from the fallout of World War II, War of the Worlds is indebted to its groundbreaking special effects which made the film seem all too real for a world trying to forget a violent past.
Seven years after the events of 9/11, Americans were afraid. War was raging overseas and the tide of hatred and intolerance within America’s borders was rising. People craved a safety that no longer existed and maybe never did. Being home at the beginning of the new millennium has never been more terrifyingly realized than in Bryan Bertino’s The Strangers. Pseudo-ly based on true events, the film is about the impossibly gorgeous couple James (Scott Speedman) and Kirsten (Liv Tyler) who arrive at James’ family cottage after a wedding and are unrelentingly attacked by a group of masked individuals. Despite the film’s insistence at it being based on true events, Bertino took inspiration from the Tate/ Labianca murders, the Keddie Cabin Murders, and a spat of home invasions that took place in the neighborhood he grew up in. So while The Strangers is a work of fiction, the events are eerily plausible.
Join panelists Paul Tremblay (THE CABIN AT THE END OF THE WORLD), Scott Thomas (KILL CREEK), and Matt Leslie (SUMMER OF 84) as they discuss the craft of writing for horror. From its various formats and many sub-genres to how horror has evolved over the years, these creators will do a deep dive, discussing their personal projects, what inspires them and what made them want to write horror.
What better way to celebrate National Indigenous Peoples Day than with a bunch of murderous travelers fleeing the law, determined to set up shop on a new terrain at any cost? The Critters, knowns as Crites, are a dangerous alien species who wreak havoc wherever they go. When they escape from intergalactic jail they make their way to Earth to breed and infest our home. It’s up to the residents of a small town in Kansas and two space bounty hunters to stop them, repeatedly. Luckily for us, the Critters franchise kept replicating with each entry more entertaining and bonkers than the last.
Few images are as indelible as Tim Curry’s portrayal of Pennywise the Clown in the TV mini-series It. When a group of outcast kids known as the Loser’s Club in Derry, Maine has to destroy the malevolent clown as children, they return 27 years later to finish him off. In this premise you’ve got the makings of some of Stephen King’s most famous themes and characters. With director Tommy Lee Wallace and screenwriter Lawrence D. Cohen condensing King’s mammoth 1000+ page tomb into a rather nimble three hours (leaving out some of the less savoury sewer-play), the It mini-series reached unsuspecting homes all over the world cementing new nightmares for generations of viewers.
Lewis Teague’s Cujo may have you questioning if every dog is man’s best friend. Set against Stephen King’s beatific Maine backdrop, Cujo is less about a rabid dog, though the dog does cause a lot of problems to be fair, and more about the complex inner workings of characters trapped in lives they’re not sure they ever wanted or asked for. Cujo speaks to one of King’s greatest strengths, his love of his characters. While you may never look at a St. Bernard the same way again, you may hug your loved ones just a little bit tighter after watching Cujo.
Carrie White may eat shit in Hell but she’ll fuck you up before she gets there. Based on Stephen King’s first novel, Brian De Palma’s adaptation is a bonafide horror classic. As social pariah Carrie White (Sissy Spacek) nears the end of her high school career she becomes more confident in her burgeoning telekinetic powers. As she faces down her school bullies and her overbearing, over-zealoted mother (Piper Laurie) she increasingly becomes a target for all those who want to control her. As prom night draws near little do all the characters know the darkness that awaits them. At once both a grisly coming of age tale and a tender look at a young woman who just wants to be accepted, Carrie remains one of the most frighteningly relatable horror films ever made.
When two horror powerhouses get together, it’s hard to know what to expect. Director John Carpenter’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel is imbued with the stark cinematography and underlying menace that made Halloween (1978) and The Thing (1982) horror classics. Merged with King’s sinister nostalgia Christine’s slightly absurd premise becomes a B-movie classic. When Arnie Cunningham (Keith Gordon) gets the keys to Christine, a 1958 red and white Plymouth Fury he goes from being an outcast to the coolest guy in his high school. Unfortunately for him, Christine has plans of her own for Arnie as the film wrestles with the parts of ourselves we give up in order to be accepted.
Rob Reiner’s Misery is about art, reception and how to recover from having your ankle shattered. Writer Paul Sheldon (James Caan) is saved from a car accident during a storm by Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates in an Oscar-winning role) who reveals herself to be his “number 1 fan” and holds him hostage until he writes the novel she wants. While King has often stated that Annie is the personification of cocaine, she is more broadly an instrument of obsession, a warning of what happens when love and infatuation are unbreakably intertwined proving the old adage true, it’s hell to be the rage.
After Johnny Smith (Christopher Walken) awakens from a coma he discovers he has the ability to see the future of those he comes into contact with. The Dead Zone is about the liminal space between the real and perceived, the places that demand to be believed in. While Johnny’s psychic abilities drive the narrative of The Dead Zone forward, Johnny’s journey to rebuild his life after being in a coma for five years is the heart of the story. Directed by horror auteur David Cronenberg there is an iciness to The Dead Zone which balances King’s predilection for earnest sentiment that still shines through in Walken’s performance. Cronenberg keeps the pacing tight, narrowing in on Johnny’s greatest conflict, a fate tied to the furiously up and coming politician Greg Stillson (Martin Sheen).
Jack Torrance becomes winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer's block. He settles in along with his wife, Wendy, and his son, Danny, who is plagued by psychic premonitions. As Jack's writing goes nowhere and Danny's visions become more disturbing, Jack discovers the hotel's dark secrets and begins to unravel into a homicidal maniac hell-bent on terrorizing his family.
Annabelle comes home… to Salem for a special visit! In celebration of the Annabelle Comes Home - Advance Screening at CinemaSalem, Warner Bros. is sending the real Annabelle doll to Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery for a limited engagement - one day only! Tour the incredible gallery of monsters and pop into the Vault of Horror screening room for a refresher course on The Conjuring Universe!
Paris, Summer 1979. Anne produces third-rate gay porn. After her editor and lover Lois leaves her, she tries to win her back by shooting her most ambitious film yet with her trusted, flaming sidekick Archibald. But one of her actors is brutally murdered and Anne gets caught up in a strange investigation that turns her life upside-down.
Young American dancer Susie Bannion arrives in 1970s Berlin to audition for the world-renowned Helena Markos Dance Co. When she vaults to the role of lead dancer, the woman she replaces breaks down and accuses the company's female directors of witchcraft. Meanwhile, an inquisitive psychotherapist and a member of the troupe uncover dark and sinister secrets as they probe the depths of the studio's hidden underground chambers.
Advance purchases get a free mini poster!
Boundary-pushing cinematic visionary Lars von Trier (Antichrist) returns with one of his most daring, masterfully provocative works yet. In five audacious episodes, failed architect and arch-sociopath Jack (Matt Dillon) recounts the elaborately orchestrated murders—each, as he views them, a towering work of art—that define his “career” as a serial killer. Mixing pitch black humor, transcendent surrealism, and renegade musings on everything from history to architecture to cinema, von Trier fashions a radical, blazingly personal inquiry into violence, art, and the twin acts of creation and destruction. With Uma Thurman, Riley Keough, and Bruno Ganz.
THIS IS THE LONGER DIRECTOR'S CUT, WHICH WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE WHEN THE FILM GOES INTO WIDER RELEASE, AND IS NOT RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE UNDER 17.
This group of sultry, Satanic burlesque dancers from Salem MA will shake, shimmy, and shank all night long. Guaranteed to electrify and horrify any crowd. Following screenings of Rosemary's Baby and St. Agatha. This party is co-hosted by IT'S GONNA GET WEIRD.
Set in the 1957, an unmarried, pregnant conwoman seeks refuge in a southern convent where she is forced to atone for her sins. Protected within the confines of what first appears to be an ideal environment to raise her child, Mother Superior’s house of God descends into terror as the nuns inflict psychological warfare and brutal violence upon their unholy captives.
This lecture will explore a variety of the genre’s depictions of hell, and how those cinematic depictions correspond with contemporary belief systems of sin, punishment and justice.
Using an array of contemporary and classic horror films, this presentation will explore how the horror genre has become a space where the beautiful and the grotesque comingle to create meaningful and unique cultural narratives of resistance.
Join Daily Dead and Salem Horror Fest for an afterpaty tweetup at Salem's local barcade. Get together with fellow horror fest fans for drinks, video games, and witch-related trivia played from the comfort of your smartphone - whether you're partying in Salem or witnessing from afar.
When it was released in 1987, The Monster Squad was deemed a failure by critics and was, according to the box office, a film no one cared about. But over the last three decades, word of mouth has turned this sleeping hit into a cultural phenomenon.
Over the course of its three volume run, Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories introduced children to gothic tales of terror with notoriously ghastly illustrations making them the most banned books of our time. This documentary follows the author’s son, Peter Schwartz, in an exploration of the collection’s legacy, folklore, and many controversies with interviews from iconic children’s authors R.L. Stine, Debbie Dadey, Bruce Coville, and Q.L. Pearce.
Filmmakers from the upcoming horror-comedy Mass Hysteria will speak about the making of their new film currently in production from First-Name Films. Mass Hysteria highlights Salem's unique position as a vibrant, modern community steeped in history. Set over the course of Halloween Eve, the films centers around a group of historical re-enactors who are falsely accused of witchcraft.
More than 30 years after The Monster Squad was released, Andre Gower comes to Salem to premiere his new documentary Wolfman's Got Nards about its legacy and making of the film. A child actor staple in the 1980s television landscape, Gower has made appearances on The Twilight Zone, A-Team, Mr. Bellvedeire, Night Court, Remington Steele, Knight Rider, and T.J. Hooker.
You might think Salem’s weird, but the city’s weirder than you think. That’s what author J.W. Ocker discovered when he moved to the strangest city in the country during its strangest season for his book, A Season with the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem. It’s not a straight line between a bizarre 17th century tragedy and Salem’s place today as Witch City, Halloween Town, and constantly conflicted. Drawing from his own personal experiences, his research, and his interviews with everyone from street performers to the mayor to, yes, plenty of witches, J.W. Ocker tells the real story of how Salem got so freakin’ weird…and why he hopes it never changes.
Presented by J.W. Ocker
J.W. Ocker is the Edgar Award-winning author of strange travelogues Poe-Land: The Hallowed Haunts of Edgar Allan Poe, A Season with the Witch, and the Grimpendium books. His latest book is Death and Douglas, a Halloween mystery novel about a boy, his funeral home, and the killer who keeps filling it. Ocker’s work has appeared in The Boston Globe, CNN, The Atlantic, The Guardian, and other places people stick writing. Visit him at oddthingsiveseen.com.