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Please be advised: the Museum will be open on Wednesday, June 19, 12:00–6:00 p.m. for the Juneteenth holiday.


Scary movies and Halloween fun at MoMI

SEPTEMBER 28, 2023

close up of a grotesque witches face

New exhibit of materials from William Friedkin’s The Exorcist to go on view in the core exhibition Behind the Screen

October 15: Hip-Hop & Halloween Family Day–free admission for kids
October 15–29: Family-friendly spooky films and horror films for adults
October 28–29: Cult horror film series The Spawn of Pazuzu
November 2: Day of the Dead Celebration

This October and early November, Museum of the Moving Image is pleased to surprise and delight visitors with exhibits, screenings, and other events embracing the spirit of Halloween and autumn’s spooky season. A major highlight is Horrible Sites: Makeup and Production Design for The Exorcist, a new exhibit featuring materials from the Museum’s collection relating to William Friedkin’s groundbreaking 1973 horror film, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, opening October 4 within the core exhibition Behind the Screen.

Kicking off fall’s family-friendly events, MoMI will host a Hip-Hop & Halloween Family Day on October 15, with free admission for kids (ages 17 and under), featuring spooktacular mediamaking activities, face painting by local artist The Cheeky Chipmunk, and karaoke organized around a matinee of Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (ticket included with paid admission or available separately). Halloween-related screenings in October include The Witches (Oct. 20, 21, 27), the special compilation “Halloween with The Muppet Show" (Oct. 22), and Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (Oct. 28, 29, Nov. 3).

Then, on November 2, the Museum invites all to a free community celebration of the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead / Día de Muertos with performances of Aztec Mexica dance, poetry, and music, hosted by Rosa Ruíz and Catrinamía; followed by a screening of Guillermo del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone (this R-rated film is recommended for teens and adults; ticket purchase required for the film).

In addition to Family Day, on October 28 and 29, children in Halloween costumes (ages 17 and under) will receive free Museum admission.

For mature audiences, the Museum will present a cornucopia of horror and suspense films from October 20–29, including Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Pulse, Unfriended: Dark Web, We’re All Going to the World’s Fair (with director Jane Schoenbrun in person Oct. 22), Lake Mungo, M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village, and John Carpenter’s Ghosts of Mars. We will also present The Spawn of Pazuzu, a special edition of cult and underground film–focused series Disreputable Cinema, with five films featuring demonic possession inspired by The Exorcist: 976-EVIL, 1974: The Possession of Altair, Demons, Devil Fetus, and The Exorcist III. 

See below for a roundup (family-friendly programs will be noted as such).

Horrible Sites: Makeup and Production Design for The Exorcist
Opening October 4, in Behind the Screen
The Exorcist is widely considered one of the scariest films ever made. Released in 1973, the film, which pits the Catholic church against a demon for control of a young girl’s soul, has shocked and fascinated generations of viewers. Directed by William Friedkin and written by William Peter Blatty, adapting his own best-selling 1971 novel, the film made an essential contribution to the horror genre. With material drawn from MoMI’s permanent collection, this exhibit explores the film’s production and makeup design, with the mechanical doll created by Dick Smith and Marcel Vercoutere and featured in an iconic scene of demonic possession taking center stage in the exhibit.

Hip-Hop & Halloween Family Day 
Sunday, October 15, 12:00–6:00 p.m. 
Recommended for all ages  
MoMI presents an afternoon of family-friendly activities to celebrate 50 years of hip-hop music and to get in the mood for Halloween! Organized around a screening of the hip-hop-infused musical film Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, which stars Whoopi Goldberg and Lauryn Hill, Family Day invites you to take part in karaoke (sing a song from the film or choose a spooky tune); get your face painted by local makeup artist the Cheeky Chipmunk; play a hip-hop video game and animate a dance scene; or green-screen yourself into a scene from the film! Plus, visitors are welcome to explore the core exhibition Behind the Screen and The Jim Henson Exhibition to look for furry monsters, famous costumes, makeup materials, and more. (Please note: some sections of Behind the Screen contain materials that may be scary for younger visitors; our visitor experience associates can point out these areas in advance.) 

Day of the Dead Celebration / Día de Muertos
Thursday, November 2, 4:00–6:30 p.m.
All ages for the performances; teens and adults for the film
Celebrate Day of the Dead at MoMI with performances of Aztec Mexica dance, poetry, music from indigenous dance troupe Yayauhki Tezcatlipoka, and a face-painting session inspired by historical characters from Día de Muertos. All ages are welcome to explore the Museum’s ofrenda, a public altar honoring ancestors, in the Museum’s courtyard, followed by a catrina and catrin contest hosted by artist historian Rosa Ruíz and Catrinamía. Visitors are welcome to arrive early to explore the Museum’s galleries, which are open for free beginning at 2:00 p.m. Drop-in media and game labs offer hands-on activities for all ages. 
At 6:30 p.m. the Museum will present a screening of Guillermo del Toro’s horror film The Devil’s Backbone (recommended for teens and adults) in the Redstone Theater. See below for details. 



The Witches
Friday, Oct. 20, 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 21, 12:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 27, 3:00 p.m.
Recommended for ages 8+
Dir. Nicolas Roeg. 1990, 91 mins. 35mm. With Anjelica Huston, Mai Zetterling, Rowan Atkinson. 

“Halloween with The Muppet Show
Introduced by series programmer Craig Shemin, President of The Jim Henson Legacy
Sunday, Oct. 22, 1:00 p.m.
Recommended for ages 8+
Three season-appropriate episodes of The Muppet Show will be shown, starting with a tribute to the late Alan Arkin with his season four appearance. In it, Arkin accidentally ingests Dr. Bunsen Honeydew’s “Jekyll-Hyde” formula and finds himself transformed into a vicious bunny-throwing beast. 

Batman: Mask of the Phantasm 
Saturday, Oct. 28, 12:30 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 29, 12:30 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 3, 3:00 p.m.
Recommended for ages 8+
Dirs. Eric Radomski, Bruce Timm. 1993, 76 mins. 35mm. With the voices of Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Dana Delany

Lake Mungo
Friday, Oct. 13, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 15, 6:00 p.m.
Dir. Joel Anderson. 2008, 87 mins. With Rose Traynor, Martin Sharpe, David Pledger. 

Ghosts of Mars
Friday, Oct. 20, 7:15 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 21, 1:00 p.m.
Dir. John Carpenter. 2001, 98 mins. 35mm. With Jason Statham, Pam Grier, Natasha Henstridge, Ice Cube.

The Village 
Saturday, Oct. 21, 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 28, 3:00 p.m.
Dir. M. Night Shyamalan. 2004, 108 mins. With Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt, Adrien Brody. 

Unfriended: Dark Web 
Sunday, Oct. 22, 1:00 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 28, 6:00 p.m.
Dir. Stephen Susco. 2018. 92 mins.

We’re All Going to the World’s Fair 
Sunday, Oct. 22, 2:30 p.m. with director Jane Schoenbrun in person Saturday, Oct. 28, 7:30 p.m.
Dir. Jane Schoenbrun. 2021, 86 mins. With Anna Cobb, Michael J. Rogers. 

Sunday, Oct. 22, 5:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct 27, 7:00 p.m.
Dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa. 2001, 119 mins. In Japanese with English subtitles

The Devil’s Backbone
Thursday, November 2, 6:30 p.m.
Preceded by a free community celebration of the Day of the Dead (4:00–6:30 p.m.)
Dir. Guillermo del Toro. 2001, 106 mins. In Spanish with English subtitles. With Marisa Paredes, Eduardo Noriega, Federico Luppi. 



Disreputable Cinema: The Spawn of Pazuzu
October 28–29 

1974: The Possession of Altair 
Saturday, Oct. 28, 2:00 p.m.
Dir. Victor Dryere. 2016, 82 mins. With Diana Bovio, Rolando Breme. 

Saturday, Oct. 28, 4:00 p.m.
Dir. Robert Englund. 1988, 92 min. With Stephen Geoffreys, Patrick O'Bryan.  

Saturday, Oct 28, 6:00 p.m. 
Dir. Lamberto Bava. 1985, 88 min. With Natasha Hovey, Michele Soavi.

Devil Fetus 
Sunday, Oct. 29, 2:00 p.m.
Dir. Hung-Chuen Lau. 1983, 84 mins. With Shirley Lu, Eddie Chan. 

The Exorcist III 
Sunday, Oct. 29, 3:45 p.m.
Dr. William Peter Blatty. 1990, 110 mins. With George C. Scott, Ed Flanders.