Sunday, July 3, 2011

EMP’s Original New Exhibition Examines the Cultural Phenomenon of Horror

EMP’s Original New Exhibition Examines the Cultural Phenomenon of Horror
Can’t Look Away:  The Lure of Horror Film Opens October 2, 2011

SEATTLE— EMP Museum announced the opening of its new exhibition Can’t Look Away:  The Lure of Horror Film which takes an in-depth exploration into horror, its link to humanity, and how that connection is expressed through cinema, biology, history, and contemporary culture.  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. Can’t Look Away:  The Lure of Horror Film opens October 2, 2011 at EMP.

“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.

The exhibition will feature a selection of 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
·         Script from Night of the Living Dead

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. 


EMP is a non-profit organization dedicated to the exploration of creativity and innovation in music, science fiction, and popular culture. EMP combines interpretative, interactive exhibitions with state-of-the-art technologies, and educational programming to offer visitors of all ages a first-hand, multi-dimensional experience of the creative and artistic process.

EMP is housed in a 140,000 square foot Frank O. Gehry-designed building. This spectacular, prominently visible structure has the presence of a monumental sculpture set amid the backdrop of the Seattle Center.

325 5th Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98109
206-770-2700, main line
206-770-2702, box office
1-877-EMP-SFM1, toll-free


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