Scarecrow Academy — Semester Three: The Art in Horror


UPDATE: Due to the Health Officer Order for King County, Scarecrow Academy will be temporarily postponed. Once we are able, we will resume the Art In Horror series where we left off. We apologize for any inconvenience. Watch this space for further information. Stay healthy and safe.



Scarecrow Academy presents an in-depth look at how some of the greatest directors in cinema tackled horror. The Art in Horror is a ten-week screening/discussion series in which we’ll analyze directing methods in detail, and define what makes great style in the horror film.

Discussions are led by film critic Robert Horton, author of the Seasoned Ticket column at the Scarecrow blog, whose books include a study of the 1931 Frankenstein. The sessions are free and open to all; there’s no homework, but you can RSVP to let us know you’re coming. We’ll be meeting at Scarecrow on Saturdays at 2 p.m. beginning February 8, 2020.

The Art in Horror schedule:


February 8

F. W. Murnau: Nosferatu (1922)

The great German filmmaker took Dracula and shaped a silent Expressionist masterpiece out of it, with the vampire played by the memorable Max Schreck.



February 15

James Whale: Frankenstein (1931)

A foundational film, from Universal Pictures’ great horror cycle of the 1930s. The cultivated Whale made a memorable adaptation of Mary Shelley’s novel, with help from star Boris Karloff.



February 22

Carl Theodor Dreyer: Vampyr (1932)

The Danish master Dreyer followed his celebrated Passion of Joan of Arc with this eerie occult gem, a strange and somnambulistic experience.



February 29

Jacques Tourneur: I Walked with a Zombie (1943)

The low-budget producer Val Lewton created a series of poetic horror films in the 1940s, including this “voodoo Jane Eyre,” directed by a master of shadowy atmosphere, Jacques Tourneur.



March 7

Howard Hawks: The Thing from Another World (1951)

Hawks was one of Hollywood’s most prestigious directors, which may be why he didn’t take onscreen credit as the director of a monster flick. But there’s no doubt who’s in charge of this frosty classic.



March 14

Alfred Hitchcock: The Birds (1963)

More of a traditional monster movie than Hitchcock’s PsychoThe Birds displays the Master’s customary technique along with new inspirations borrowed from European cinema of the era.



March 21

Roman Polanski: Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

Poor, lonely Mia Farrow endures the pregnancy from hell in Polanski’s impeccably made chiller, a great film about bad neighbors and urban anxiety.



March 28

George Romero: Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Shot on a shoestring in Pittsburgh, Romero’s politically-charged zombie picture changed the nature of horror moviemaking in countless ways.



April 4

Stanley Kubrick: The Shining (1980)

A filmmaker who re-invented the cinema with each movie, Kubrick turned his attention to a Stephen King novel for this magnificent story of madness and cabin fever at the Overlook Hotel.



April 11

John Carpenter: The Thing (1982)

A re-make of the 1951 Hawks film, but closer to the short story upon which both are based. Halloween director Carpenter gets attitude and gore into his version of terror in the Arctic.


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