Get In The Halloween Spirit At MoPop’s <em>Scared to Death: The Thrill of Horror Film</em>

Wannabe vampires, zombies, and slashers, be warned. You can laugh and/or scream and., but you can’t hide at the Museum of Pop Culture’s new, immersive exhibition, “Scared to Death: The Thrill of Horror Film.” Get tickets and more information here.

The exhibit opened on September 30th, and offers an in-depth look at century-plus horror cinema–its villains and stories. The genre’s most memorable monsters will be there to greet you. So you may want to look under your bed when you go home.

You’ll find yourself in a vampire chapel with walls dripping blood, and an original bronze bust of Bram Stoker. A zombie containment area with an aquarium wall of submerged zombie heads from “The Walking Dead.” You’ll also see the axe used by Jack Nicholson, as Jack Torrance in “The Shining.”

MoPop’s exhibit features a macabre display of more than 50 props and costumes from film and television: including “The Walking Dead,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” “Friday the 13th,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Blade,” “Bride of Frankenstein,” “The Thing,” “Dawn of the Dead,” “Hostel,” “Jeepers Creepers,” “Pet Sematary,” and many more.

Switchboard used in "Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein" and other films

Special effects switchboard used in “Bride of Frankenstein” and other films 1930-1965

Taking inspiration from the genre, the 3,000 square foot gallery space is designed to evoke the unsettling sensations associated with cinematic terror. Interactive experiences include a scream booth, coffin photo op, and multimedia installations. Themed sections include an unholy vampire chapel with walls dripping blood, a zombie containment area with an aquarium wall of submerged zombie heads from “The Walking Dead,” plus a slasher’s den detailing the terrifying feats of horror’s most iconic killers–with a thicket of corpses suspended from the ceiling. The exhibit also features multi-media experiences, including oral history interviews and exhibit films with highlighting directors, Karyn Kusama, Roxanne Benjamin, Roger Corman, John Landis, and Eli Roth.

The new “Scared’ exhibit follows the success of MoPOP’s first horror exhibition, “Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film.” MoPop’s honchos promise that “Scared” is more elaborate, bolder, and morbid.

“Scared to Death: The Thrill of Horror Film” is included with museum admission. Due to some graphic content, this exhibit is recommended for ages 13 and up.

A Few Favorite Quotes From Films Included In “Scared to Death: The Thrill of Horror Film”:

Prop head from AMC's "The Walking Dead" (Photo by Brady Harvey) MoPop

Prop head from AMC’s “The Walking Dead” (Photo by Brady Harvey)

“Jeepers Creepers” (2001)
Trish: You know that part in scary movies when somebody does something really stupid and everyone hates them for it. This is it.

“Dawn of the Dead” (1978)
Roger: One-stop shopping: everything you need, right at your fingertips.

“The Thing” (1982)
MacReady: Trust is a tough thing to come by these Days.”

“Shaun of the Dead” (2004)
Barbara: It’s been a funny sort of day, hasn’t it?

“The Shining” (1980)
Jack Torrance: Heeeeeeeeere’s Johnny!

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)
Freddy Krueger: I’m your boyfriend now, Nancy!

“Freddy vs. Jason” (2003)
Freddy Krueger: I should warn you, princess—the first time tends to get a little messy.

“Friday the 13th”
Mrs. Voorhees: Come, dear. It’ll be easier for you than it was for Jason.

“Pet Sematary” (1989)
Louis Creed: Today is thanksgiving day for cats. But only if they came back from the dead.

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)
Nancy: Whatever you do, don’t fall asleep.

Artifact Highlights From “Scared to Death: The Thrill of Horror Film”:

  • Sweater worn by Freddy Krueger from “A Nightmare on    Elm Street” 1984
  • Severed heads from “The Walking Dead” 2012
  • Church the Cat prop from “Pet Sematary” 1989
  • Creeper costume worn by Jonathan Breck in “Jeepers Creepers” 2001
  • Machete prop from “Dawn of the Dead” 1978
  • Costume worn by Wesley Snipes in “Blade” 1998
  • Lament Configuration Box from “Hellraiser: Inferno” 2000
  • Pamela Voorhees severed head prop, from “Friday the 13th” 1980
  • Stunt stake gun used in “Fright Night” 2011
  • Hacksaw used by Carey Elwes as Dr. Lawrence Gordon in “Saw” 2004
  • Hero functioning repeater crossbow used by Hugh Jackman in “Van Helsing” 2004
  • Hi-8 camcorder used onscreen in “The Blair Witch Project” 1999
  • Gill Man mask from Creature from the “Black Lagoon” 1954
  • Mr. Pointy stake used by Sarah Michelle Gellar as Buffy in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” 1998
  • Pages from the Necronomicon Ex-Mortis (Book of the Dead) from “Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn” 1987
  • Special effects switchboard used in “Bride of Frankenstein” and other films 1930-1965
  • Axe used by Jack Nicholson as Jack Torrance in “The Shining” 1980
  • Chainsaw used by the German Surgeon in “Hostel” 2005

Get tickets and more information here.



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Starla Smith

Starla Smith

Starla Smith is a career journalist, writing features for such publications as The New Yorker, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Daily News, The Des Moines Register, Vibe and a prize-winning Gannett Newspaper. She helped launch Theater Week Magazine and eventually became its publisher. As a regular contributor to Playbill, her interviews and photos were featured in Playbill and Playbill-on-line. Smith was featured in the New York Times "Style" section for her "Word Portraits," specialized tributes, speeches, and presentation profiles. And she covered theater and features for City Search, Digital City, and the Tena Duberry WOW! Radio show. She previously served as astrology guru for Out Magazine, and she hastens to assure her readers that "Starla" is indeed her real name.

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