Messaging the Monstrous

Race and Horror

Jul 17–24, 2022


Tales from the Hood. 1995. USA. Directed by Rusty Cundieff. Courtesy of Photofest
  • MoMA, Floor T2/T1 The Debra and Leon Black Family Film Center

The “otherness” associated with race in horror films made before the late 1960s is only now in the process of remission. Progress has been slow, but Duane Jones’s leading roles in George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Bill Gunn’s Ganja and Hess (1973) established them as landmarks in the history of horror noire. While the genre inched forward through the 1990s with key works from Black directors like James Bond III and Rusty Cundieff and white filmmakers like Wes Craven and Bernard Rose, it was Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2017) that most effectively opened up the genre to a new generation of Black filmmakers. And while the wait for Indigenous people to gain some control over their representation in horror films has been even longer, the cultural perspective that Mi’kmaq director Jeff Barnaby has brought to the genre in the last decade demonstrates that its messaging potential remains strong.

Organized by Ron Magliozzi, Curator, and Brittany Shaw, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Film, with Caryn Coleman, guest curator.

  • This film series is part of Horror: Messaging the Monstrous.
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