Messaging the Monstrous

Eco Horror

Aug 22–27, 2022


28 Days Later. 2002. Great Britain. Directed by Danny Boyle. Courtesy of Everett Collection
  • MoMA, Floor T2/T1 The Debra and Leon Black Family Film Center

The apocalyptic results of humankind’s self-destructive tendencies is a preoccupation that horror shares with science fiction. From careless littering and reckless toxic waste disposal to the exploitation of resources by profit-driven corporations and manipulative politicians, filmmakers have visualized terrifying scenarios of the natural world’s revenge that seem less fantastic and more urgent with each passing year. Relatively restrained works like The Crazies (1973) and Long Weekend (1978) laid the foundations for the more gruesome viral epidemic of 28 Days Later (2002) and the forest’s fungal vendetta in Gaia (2021). These films often ask whether human life is sustainable; at least one, The Girl With All the Gifts (2016), suggests it isn’t worth the effort at all. As we experience a summer with planet-warming CO2 levels at their highest in human history, these “fantastic” films are deadly serious.

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.

    Film at MoMA is made possible by CHANEL.

    Additional support is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership support for the Annual Film Fund is provided by Debra and Leon D. Black and by Steven Tisch, with major contributions from The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Karen and Gary Winnick, and The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston.


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