This October, the Block Cinema brings the spooky season to the Northwestern campus through a series of three horror film screenings.

A combination of classic films, scholarly documentaries and introductions by renowned experts in the field, “Perspectives on Horror” hopes to showcase the many facets of horror cinema and challenge our preconceptions about fear on screen.

Through these screenings, Michael Metzger, curator of the series, hopes to connect with the existing RTVF horror film classes on campus as well as other students interested in the genre.

“Of all film genres, horror is really the one that benefits the most from being seen in a group with other people, where it is a part of a collective experience,” said Metzger. “I really believe that any class on horror films is lacking if you don’t engage that side of it.”

The first screening of the series will be The Elephant Man, a critically acclaimed 1980s hit which was nominated for eight Academy Awards. This film is best known for its melancholy black and white visual and sound production that ultimately synthesizes into a cutting depiction of human morals and compassion. Seven-time Academy Award-winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom (Saving Private Ryan, Titanic) will introduce the film and how elements of sound design can create an atmosphere of terror that draws the audience into the rich landscape on screen.

The second screening, Horror Noire, is a documentary that takes a scholarly approach to the history of racial representation both within and surrounding horror cinema. Media historian Robin R. Means Colman will lead a discussion about this documentary based on her book Horror Noire, diving deep into the various ways that African Americans have been portrayed in horror and its implications on audiences.

The third film, I Walked with a Zombie, is set to screen on Halloween night. Dealing with issues of race and Voodooism, this is a masterpiece of acclaimed director Jacques Tourneur. According to Metzger, this screening will entail a fusion between the craft of production seen in The Elephant Man and the historical significance recognized in Horror Noire, making it a fitting conclusion to the series.  

Image courtesy of Creative Commons

The screening events will be at the Block Cinema at The Block Museum of Art on Northwestern’s Evanston campus. All screenings are free and open to the public.

Side bar screening times

The Elephant Man: Oct. 10 at 7 p.m.

Horror Noire: Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.

I Walk with a Zombie: Oct. 31 at 7 p.m.