Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Salem Horror Fest Examines American Fear With Month-Long Celebration Of Terror

This Fall, Salem Horror Fest is celebrating one of the horror genre's greatest weapons; fear as "an evolutionary learning tool."

*From The Press Release

Salem, MA - Salem Horror Fest, in partnership with the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) and CinemaSalem, is the city’s first ever four-week festival of screenings, parties, concerts, panels and exhibits that explore societal themes of fear and anxiety in horror at the Halloween capital of the world; Salem, Massachusetts. To overcome fear, we must first understand it.

Amidst the notorious backdrop of the 1692 Witch Trials, the festival will feature a city-wide program set to kick off at the Peabody Essex Museum on Friday, September 22 as part of the PEM/PM evening party series in conjunction with their upcoming exhibit “It’s Alive” Classic Horror and Sci-Fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection.

“We live in fear. Fear of failure, commitment, each other and beyond. It’s one of the few things that unites us all. Salem knows this more than most,” said festival director Kevin Lynch. “The cinema is a graveyard of cultural reflections trapped in time like a celluloid ouija board. If we are to overcome fear, we must first understand it.”

Following the Opening Night Party on Friday, September 22, Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead) will accept the first-ever Salem Horror Award on behalf of Duane Jones for his cultural contribution to the genre as one of the first positive representations of a person of color on the big screen in George A. Romero’s 1968 Night of the Living Dead.

A concert performance by queer, negro-gothic soprano M Lamar will be held at Ames Hall on Saturday, September 23 featuring a program The New York Times called an "otherworldly, goth-tinged projection into the distant future of our violent, racially and sexually charged present offering a space of melancholic, alluring, ultimately stirring reflection."

Four films will be screened in the PEM’s Morse Auditorium with panel discussions exploring sub-textual themes of cultural fear found in Night of the Living Dead, Matinee, Gods & Monsters, and The Haunting.

Following the Haunted Happenings Parade on Thursday, October 5, CinemaSalem will host Wicked Shorts, a free evening of short films in consideration for the first annual Orlok Award, named in honor of Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery’s 10th anniversary.

The second half of the festival will screen seven double features at CinemaSalem that feature social themes such as racism, misogyny, gay panic, media manipulation, and xenophobia in films like Get Out, People Under the Stairs, Tragedy Girls, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, American Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Mist, They Live, Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge, Cruising, Halloween 3: Season of the Witch, Videodrome, Let the Right One In, and Fright Night.

The October 7th screening of Tyler MacIntyre’s Tragedy Girls will be the New England premiere at Women With Guts, a celebration in partnership with Rue Morgue Magazine. The event will also screen Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood followed by a Q&A session with its stars Lar Park Lincoln and Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees) moderated by The Faculty of Horror podcast.

For more information, visit salemhorror.com

Media Contact

Kevin Lynch, Festival Director

About The Peabody Essex Museum

Over the last 20 years, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) has distinguished itself as one of the fastest-growing art museums in North America. Founded in 1799, it is also the country’s oldest continuously operating museum. At its heart is a mission to enrich and transform people's lives by broadening their perspectives, attitudes and knowledge of themselves and the wider world. PEM celebrates outstanding artistic and cultural creativity through exhibitions, programming and special events that emphasize cross-cultural connections, integrate past and present and underscore the vital importance of creative expression.

About CinemaSalem

CinemaSalem is more than a film-lover’s movie theater; it’s also a cafĂ©, an art gallery, an art house, a live music venue, and a home to one of America’s largest all-documentary film festivals — all steps from the world class museums, restaurants, historic sites, theatre companies, art spaces, and shops that make Salem’s downtown so fun and vibrant.

Graveyard Shift Sisters Salem Horror Fest Giveaway Special

Thanks to Kevin Lynch and Salem Horror Fest, we've got two free tickets available for a giveaway to the M Lamar concert and the Get Out/The People Under The Stairs double feature!

M Lamar

Friday, September 22, 6PM
Peabody Essex Museum

Join us for this very special performance, featuring Queer Soprano M Lamar, who will perform an assemblage of old spirituals, in the "gothic-devil-worshipping-free-black-man-blues-tradition" in recognition of the 156th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Race In Horror Films Double Feature

Friday, October 6, 7PM

Get Out
Director: Jordan Peele
US, 2017

Slavery is a zombie in Jordan Peele’s directorial debut Get Out, which falls somewhere between Alfred Hitchcock and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Chris is preparing to meet his girlfriend Rose’s Caucasian family for the first time. What could go wrong?

People Under the Stairs
Director: Wes Craven
US, 1991

Gentrification and racism are among the topics of socioeconomics tackled by this 1991 Wes Craven offering. On his 13th birthday, young Fool attempts to burglarize the house of his family’s evil landlords, before making a horrifying discovery in a tongue-in-cheek tale set in a post-Reaganomic, urban apocalypse.

Wanna win? Tag the @GraveyardSister account on Twitter with photos of independent people of color artists that produce work in the horror genre including authors, actresses, designers, make-up artists, print illustrators, and filmmakers with links and why you love their work using the #KnowFear hashtag. We'll retweet and share, so feel free to post as many as you'd like.

Deadline to enter is September 1st!

We'll also be attending the Women With Guts double feature, Q&A and the live recording of the Faculty of Horror podcast hosted Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West.

Look for the #KnowFear hashtag on all social media platforms for updates.

@salemhorrorfest on Twitter

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