Forget the Bahamas, horror fans. This summer, Recent York is your paradise.
That’s because three of the town’s highbrow cinema presenters are offering ambitious and adventurous horror movie series with scares enough for everybody, from squeamish newbies to hardened connoisseurs.
The biggie is “Horror: Messaging the Monstrous,” which runs for a whopping 10 weeks on the Museum of Modern Art. With greater than 110 features and short movies, the series digs deep into sociopolitical horror cinema, with sections dedicated to gender, race, sexuality and extra concerns.
The opposite programs are equally enterprising. Film at Lincoln Center and Cinecittà, the esteemed Italian film studio, are partnering on “Watch out for Dario Argento,” a 20-film retrospective of Argento, the horror movie master best known for “Suspiria.” The director himself might be at select screenings.
And the Museum of the Moving Image is hosting “Movies of the Dead: Romero & Co.,” an 11-film series dedicated to zombie movies by, and inspired by, the maverick horror filmmaker George A. Romero, who died in 2017. It’s a companion to “Living With ‘The Walking Dead’” (June 25-Jan. 1, 2023), an exhibition in regards to the origins and impact of the AMC series. A second film program, “White Zombies: Nightmares of Empire,” follows in August.
Caryn Coleman, a guest curator on the MoMA series, said it ought to be no surprise that each one three organizations are turning to horror to “process the world.”
“We’re definitely in a collective moment of turmoil, so it seems right on course for Recent York to be hosting horror programming as each a tool of debate and celebration,” she wrote in an email.
To make your decision-making less scary, here’s one horror lover’s guide to what to observe.
‘Horror: Messaging the Monstrous’ (June 23-Sept. 5)
Museum of Modern Art, moma.org
The Guilty Pleasure: ‘The Slumber Party Massacre’ (1982)
What happens when a female director (Amy Holden Jones) and a feminist author (Rita Mae Brown) team as much as make a movie a couple of deranged murderer with an influence drill who kills high schoolers on the night of a sleepover? You get this crazed classic from the golden age of slashers, a movie that continues to encourage recent generations of female horror moviemakers.
The Must-See: ‘The Last House on the Left’ (1972)
Wes Craven wrote and directed this rape-revenge film about two young women who’re brutalized by psychopaths. This one’s a don’t-miss movie only for folk with a powerful structure and a morbid curiosity a couple of game-changing but troubling exploitation film. Consider this: Howard Thompson, reviewing for The Times, called it “sickening tripe,” and said he walked out before the film ended.
The Find: ‘Jack Be Nimble’ (1993)
A terrific rediscovery within the series is that this horror-fantasy film from Recent Zealand. Directed by Garth Maxwell, it stars Alexis Arquette and Sarah Smuts-Kennedy as twins who reunite as adults after being separated and raised in broken homes. In his Times review, Stephen Holden called it a “superior” genre film with “hallucinatory power and psychological refinement.”
The Throwback: ‘Def by Temptation’ (1990)
The author-director James Bond III stars as a young man who visits Recent York to see a friend (Kadeem Hardison), but as an alternative falls under the spell of a succubus (Cynthia Bond). A supernatural investigator (Bill Nunn), a medium (Melba Moore) and a preacher (Samuel L. Jackson) all try to maintain the evil at bay. For a low-budget horror comedy, the film takes a surprisingly frank take a look at Black Gen Xers and presents questions of friendship, sex and faith.
‘Watch out for Dario Argento’ (June 17-29)
Film at Lincoln Center, filmlinc.org
The Must-See: ‘Phenomena’ (1985)
Argento’s trippy psycho-thriller stars Jennifer Connelly as a young student at a Swiss girls school who discovers she has supernatural powers to manage insects. Donald Pleasence is the scientist who helps her use that power to search out a killer. The large screen is the very best approach to experience the film’s spectacular flesh-dissolving bug attack.
The Begetter: ‘The Bird With the Crystal Plumage’ (1970)
Argento’s directing debut, for which he also wrote the screenplay, is a classy prototype of Italian giallo. Set in Rome, it’s a thriller about an American author who gets entangled in a murder mystery after he witnesses a girl stabbed by an intruder inside a gallery. The gore is mild in comparison with Argento’s later movies. But giallo’s visual signatures — plunging razors, menacing lighting, a killer in chic leather — are abundant.
The Recent Kid on the Block: ‘Dark Glasses’ (2022)
Certainly one of the movies I’m excited to see is Argento’s latest, his first movie for the reason that poorly received “Argento’s Dracula 3D.” Ilenia Pastorelli stars as a prostitute who struggles to regulate to a recent life after being blinded during her escape from a killer. True to Argento form, the movie looks as sleek because it is deranged.
‘Movies of the Dead’ (June 25-July 30)
Museum of the Moving Image, movingimage.us
The Must-See: ‘Night of the Living Dead’ (1968)
When Romero’s black-and-white groundbreaker involves the massive screen, just go. Romero championed the oppressed, and for his first feature film he solid Duane Jones, a Black actor, because the man who protects a bunch of strangers trapped in a rural Pennsylvania farmhouse under siege by the flesh-chewing undead. Movies that view horror through a social justice lens, especially relating to American racism, bow to this one.
The Batty Comedy: ‘One Cut of the Dead’ (2017)
Shinichiro Ueda’s film is an absurdly gory horror-comedy a couple of film crew shooting a zombie movie that’s interrupted by actual hungry zombies. As a substitute of cutting and running, the director forces his solid and crew to maintain rolling. What happens next is a meta-marvel of slapstick, butchery and, surprisingly, heart.
The Guilty Pleasure: ‘Day of the Dead’ (1985)
I even have a soft spot for this talky doomsday story, written and directed by Romero. Set in a dystopian future America — one in every of Romero’s favorite places to go to — it’s a couple of group of literally underground scientists and soldiers (with fragile egos) who battle the zombies left above ground after an apocalypse. Tom Savini’s gruesome computer graphics gave me the heebie jeebies back within the day, and still do.