Since the early days of cinema, horror has been an intellectually arresting and commercially successful genre. With their fantastic creatures, suspenseful narratives, and captivating imagery, horror films have kept moviegoers coming back for more. Like the cinematic monsters they depict, such movies have proven to be inexhaustibly mutable, adapting with each passing age to reflect the fears and concerns of a particular historical moment. For example, the ever-present vampire film has gone from portraying the likes of Count Orlok, the repulsive vampire of F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu (1922), seen as a representation of xenophobia, to the more urbane and seductive vampires of the 1980s, including Catherine Deneuve’s Miriam in The Hunger (1983) and Tom Cruise’s Lestat in Interview with the Vampire (1994)—figures representing a critique of homophobia and sexual repression.
In this survey course, we will explore of some of the seminal monsters that have haunted the silver screen, and our collective imaginations, throughout film history, beginning in the heyday of the Universal Pictures monster-movie era with James Whale’s 1931 adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Subsequently, we will look at classic and contemporary films about vampires, zombies, and other bêtes noires. Additional films include (but are not limited to) E. Elias Merhige’s Shadow of the Vampire (2000) and Danny Boyle’s spectacularly imaginative addition to the zombie film canon, 28 Days Later (2002). Join us, if you dare.
The course includes an optional and complimentary visit to the Rosenbach Museum and Library in downtown Philadelphia for a private tour and lecture on their exhibit, Frankenstein and Dracula: Gothic Monsters, Modern Science. Date and time to be determined.
Bryn Mawr Film Institute has upgraded its website, and you will now need to log into an account on BrynMawrFilm.org to register for classes, buy tickets, and renew your membership online. Don’t worry! The process is quick and easy, and you’ll only need to do it once. Click here to complete your online account. If you’re having difficulty creating an account or logging in call our dedicated helpline at (610) 295-1356 between 10:00 am and 9:00 pm.