The fifth edition of Film Society of Lincoln Center’s popular Scary Movies series starts TONIGHT in the Walter Reade Theater and is serving up a Halloween weekend full of spooks, thrills and chills! Throughout the screenings we will be raffling off signed copies of John Landis’s book Monsters in the Movies: 100 Years of Cinematic Nightmares, which is full of breathtaking images from the history of monsters on film.
Things kick off with the North American premiere of K-Horror flick The Cat. This feline fright stars popular Korean television actress Park Min-yeong in her first big screen role as a pet groomer who becomes haunted by the spirit of a young girl after she inherits a dead woman’s cat.
After that is our official Scary Movies opening night film, Ben Wheatley’s Kill List. This multi-act horror follows two retired British soldiers whose new lives as contract killers bring them face-to-face with an unexpected and otherworldly evil. Nick Hasted of The Arts Desk said of Wheatley (whose indie crime thriller Down Terrace won the Next Wave prize at Fantastic Fest in 2009): “Kill List confirms his promise while pinning you to your seat with scenes of cold nightmare.”
Friday’s offerings include the overlooked Italo Horror homage Dark Waters. Based on the short stories of H.P. Lovecraft, the film centers on a young woman from London who returns to the island of her birth to investigate a sinister monastery connected to her deceased father. Director Mariano Baino will be in person at the New York premiere of his film.
Later that night we present another New York premiere with the director on hand, Ti West’s SXSW hit The Innkeepers. Like his last film The House of the Devil, it is refreshingly old-fashioned in its use of atmosphere and character to build tension in this story of a haunted hotel and two ghost-hunting employees hell-bent on witnessing its renowned specters for themselves.
The weekend brings a host of spooky treats old and new, including Tobe Hooper's accursed classic Poltergeist, campy terror Re-Animator with director Stuart Gordon and actor Jeffrey Combs in person, and Mark Robson’s eerie 1943 film The Seventh Victim, which J. Hoberman of The Village Voice called “still the greatest movie ever made on the subject of devil worship in Greenwich Village.” In addition, the screenings of creative new vampire flick Midnight Son and horror anthology The Theatre Bizarre will have members of the cast and crew in person for Q&As, including horror icon Udo Kier at the latter.
The series wraps up on Halloween with an evening of all things Edgar Allen Poe. We start with a screening of the classic Roger Corman / Vincent Price collaboration House of Usher, based on Poe’s story The Fall of the House of Usher. Afterwards we are very excited to present our special closing night LIVE theater event, Nevermore: An Evening with Edgar Allen Poe. This one-man show, directed by Stuart Gordon and starring Jeffrey Combs as the tortured gothic writer, is making its New York premiere after playing to rave reviews in Los Angeles, Baltimore and Montreal. It is paired with the episode of Showtime’s Masters of Horror, “The Black Cat,” that first united Gordon and Combs with Poe. Listen to them discuss how the show came about in this fascinating interview with Back Stage: