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CityPASS Home  »  City Traveler Blog  »  EMP's New Horror Film Exhibit: You Won't Be Able to Look Away

EMP's New Horror Film Exhibit: You Won't Be Able to Look Away

Axe from The Shining, 1980. From the Paul G. Allen Family Collection. Photo credit: empmuseum.org.

Have you had one too many corny haunted house experiences? Or maybe you’re just not into corn mazes, and you’re too old to trick-or-treat. That’s okay – you can still get your spook on this Halloween season.

Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film, at Seattle’s EMP Museum, is not a Halloween-themed event, but it will perhaps provide more spine-tingling chills than a few ghosts and ghouls ever would. The exhibit, which has a suggested rating of PG-13, examines the pivotal role that horror plays in the human experience. EMP invited some of the world’s most prolific horror film directors – Roger Corman, John Landis, and Eli Roth – to curate a selection of their favorite films that exemplify the genre and illustrate the creative power of horror film.

“Audiences have been fascinated with horror stories for centuries, but its presence in popular culture is now more pervasive than ever,” says EMP’s Senior Curator, Jacob McMurray. “This exhibition will examine how horror film has evolved over the last century, why we as a culture are drawn to these macabre narratives, and how fear and horror are a vital component to our human identity.”

Through a combination of artifacts, interactive installations, and screening rooms, Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film explores films from the last 100 years, and is a balance between classics and cult favorites, and domestic and foreign motion pictures. They include: Nosferatu (1922), Bride of Frankenstein (1935), Les Diaboliques (1955), Rosemary’s Baby (1968), Suspiria (1972), The Exorcist (1973), Psycho (1973), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Alien (1979), The Shining (1980), A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), The Fly (1986), The Thing (1982), and many others.

Visitors will get a chance to view iconic artifacts from horror films including: Alien creature suit from Alien; Scavenger demon from Constantine; Jack Torrance’s axe from The Shining; “Gill Man” mask from Creature from the Black Lagoon; Bram Stoker’s Dracula manuscript; and the Script from Night of the Living Dead.

Mask used by Derek Mears as Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th, 2009. From the Paul G. Allen Family Collection. Photo credit: empmuseum.org.

Interactive installations include:

  • Scream Booth: In a soundproof booth, visitors will watch a scene from a horror film and are encouraged to scream on cue. A camera takes multiple shots, which are displayed outside the booth.
  • Horror Soundscapes: Visitors will be able to explore basic music elements and scoring techniques used in horror film to enhance the sense of suspense and horror.
  • Monster Timeline: A large infographic explores the popular monster archetypes in horror, why they persist into our modern times, and why they resonate.
  • Shadow Monsters: An installation by visual artist Philip Worthington where visitors can see their projected shadows and watch them morph into monster-like forms.

And if you are able to visit EMP over Halloween weekend, you’ll have the chance to develop some horrifying skills of your own, with Learning Labs on zombie makeup application, mask making and blood making, plus other special events.

Can't Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film is included with general admission and runs through 2013.

 

 

 

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