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januscary film festival

Januscary Film Festival: A Message from the Curator

Fri, Dec 31, 2021

Written by: Joseph Morrison

The Januscary Film Festival at the Harris Theater starts January 1 with a free ticketed screening of John Carpenter's The Thing. To kick things off, below is a special message from the festival curator, Joseph Morrison, venue and programming manager at the Harris Theater.

The month of January is here, and a new calendar year always means exciting new films will soon be on the big screen at the Harris Theater. It also means that it’s time for Januscary, Pittsburgh’s only original horror film fest! In this first blog of hopefully many, I will take you through the process of what it’s like putting together a small film festival.

I scour the planet from my armchair looking for both new and old films that really deserve to be seen by an appreciative audience, in the dark of our auditorium. Films tend to jump out at me when they have a really great hook, an aspect to them that makes them stand out in a sometimes very crowded field of possibilities.

a girl looking through a pentagram made out of sticks

 

The Film: Hellbender

Why I picked it: I love that this film is the continued work of a filmmaking family, Toby Poser, John Adams, and their daughter, Zelda Adams. Their work first came to widespread notice in The Deeper You Dig (2019), and they continue to wow audiences with their fine-tuned approach to making horror films.

an older man tied up in a chair next to a young man covered in blood, holding a wooden stake

 

The Film: Let The Wrong One In

Why I picked it: This one grabbed my attention with its clever title which is a riff on the great, now classic, Let The Right One In (2008), which just about every true horror fan has seen.

a girl covered in glow in the dark facepaint looking at the camera

 

The Film: We’re All Going To The World’s Fair

Why I picked it: Often, a screening opportunity comes to me from our own hard-working staff here at the Harris, each of them a film aficionado in their own right. Staff member Will Ashton had seen and reviewed the film for a publication he’s a freelancer for, and recommended it to me. The film also resonates in today’s world with its central premise surrounding an online social media challenge.

an illustration of a purple tree with red eyes in the sky on either side of the trunk

 

The Film: Eyes of Fire

Why I picked it: Often, a screening opportunity comes to me from our own hard-working staff here at the Harris, each of them a film aficionado in their own right. Staff member Will Ashton had seen and reviewed the film for a publication he’s a freelancer for, and recommended it to me. The film also resonates in today’s world with its central premise surrounding an online social media challenge.

a man and a woman sitting in the front seats of a car looking at eachother

 

The Film: Night Drive

Why I picked it: When I’m in the midst of doing research on films and gathering opinions from great horror fans all over the world, I like to take a chance and pick something lesser known. I’ve found that these films often turn out to be something that stands out with its premise and trailer as more of a gut choice. That was the case for me with Night Drive and I’m betting it will grab you the same way it grabbed me.

I hope that you enjoy this film festival as much as I did planning it and look forward to everyone seeing what should be a thrilling series of spectacular films!

To purchase tickets and view the full festival line-up along with dates and showtimes, visit trustarts.org/film

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The address is 809 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222.


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  • januscary
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