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The Greatest Horror Shows on Earth

We all know that summer is the time to go see all the big Hollywood blockbusters, no matter if they’re good or not, but it’s also a great time to check out some of the all-time horror classics in retrospective screenings and some of the new classics at film festivals.  With this in mind, I’m pleased to present a guide to some of the best festivals and retrospectives you’ll find  this summer.

Check them out after the jump!

Film Festivals

The greatest of all North American horror festivals is undoubtedly Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival, which runs from July 5 to July 23 this year.  Such genre classics as the original Ringu and Takashi Miike’s Audition had their debuts there in year’s past and there isn’t a hot horror film from the festival circuit that doesn’t play there.  This year’s schedule won’t be announced for a few more weeks, but expect lots of very cool movies and guests at this primo festival.  We’ll be there, so it must be good!

Another great summer fest is the New York Asian Film Festival, playing at both the IFC Center and Japan Society from June 22 to July 8.  Expect only the best of Asian cinema, including Shusuke Kaneko’s Death Note films (both huge hits in Japan) and the Pakistani gore epic Hell’s Ground, along with lots of crazy action, comedy, animation and high drama at what has quickly become one of NYC’s finest film festivals.


The major retrospective this summer looks to be the American Museum of the Moving Image’s Horror: 1970s and Today in Queens, NY, screening 70s classics with contemporary hits in a unique mixture that’s sure to please.  Such films as Lucio Fulci’s House By The Cemetery screen alongside recent films like Hostel and Ichi The Killer for a serious study of the genre and its ability to comment on the society at large.

Also impressive is the American Cinematheque’s retrospective of the horror hits of 1982 at Santa Monica’s Aero Theater.  Check out The Thing, Poltergeist and other classics with special guest at this one-of-a-kind series.  The Cinematheque’s Hollywood theater will also be hosting its annual Sci-Fi/Horror series in August, with titles to be announced later.

Austin’s famed Alamo Drafthouse will be hitting the road once again for the Rolling Roadshow series of outdoor screenings at famous movie locations, this time including a 20th anniversary screening of The Lost Boys in Santa Cruz, CA.  The Coreys may even be attending!

New Yorkers are always well aware of the popular Bryant Park Monday night free screenings, and this year’s lineup will include the 1952 version of The Thing (From Another World), Wait Until Dark and Psycho.  Always a good time, providing you get there by 2pm in order to find a decent place to sit.

Not to be outdone, Philadelphia’s Exhumed Films is hosting a John Carpenter triple feature on July 21 that includes The Thing (again?), Prince Of Darkness, and Escape From New York in all their big screen glory. 

See you at the movies this summer!

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