Holidays are difficult for various reasons. The stress of traveling, connecting with family, and buying gifts, not to mention the pressure of planning for New Years Eve, can really take its toll. In January, trade the horrors of artificial mirth for real horror when the Harris Theater presents a series that’s sure to get you out of the holiday spirit.
The historic downtown theater has announced its Januscary Film Festival, a week of films to help horror fans start the year off right. From Saturday January 1 through Thu January 6, 2022, the event will feature new and classic films, one of which makes its fully restored debut to local audiences.
A press release promises that Januscary will be the “only festival of its kind in the Pittsburgh area”.
“Most theaters show classic horror movies around Halloween, but once the holiday craze wears off, horror fans still want to see their favorite movies and brand new releases outside of it. scary season, “Joseph Morrison, programming and venue manager at the Harris Theater, said in a press release. “This is where the inspiration for Januscary came from, and it gave me the opportunity to bring in some underrated cult classics and overlooked new films that true horror fans will love.”
The festival kicks off with a free screening of director John Carpenter’s film The thing. Set in a remote Antarctic station, the 1982 film pits a group of scientists against an alien entity and has become known for its masterful practical creature effects by Rob Bottin.
The range also includes Master of Hell, a 2021 film about a teenage girl whose mysterious illness prompts her to delve into “dark secrets of her family’s past and the ancient power of her lineage,” according to a synopsis. Fans of cult movies should expect eyes of fire, a little-known folk horror gem from 1983 that recently received a 4K restoration from Severin Films.
Other titles include the new vampire horror comedy Let in the bad (the title is a play about the Swedish film Leave the one on the right in) and Night driving, a thriller about a driver who endures a fateful and deadly night in Los Angeles with a mysterious passenger.
The conclusion of the festival is a preview of We all go to the World’s Fair, a film about a high school student embarking on an online horror role-playing game with the “alleged power to adopt real body modifications and emotional effects.”
A press release states that Morrison originally created Januscary for the Hollywood Theater in Dormont, where he previously worked. Once known for its carefully curated lineup, including independent film premieres, cult movie screenings, interactive events, and more, Hollywood was acquired by the Theater Historical Society of Pittsburgh in 2018 and has since been converted into a first cinema room.
Morrison says that for this January he worked with Rich Dalzatto and Sandy Stuhlfire of Horror Realm, Sticks Downey and Gerrell Marsh, and John Marek, who created the logo for the 2022 Januscary Film Festival.
January Film Festival. Hours vary. Sat Jan 1-Thu Jan 6, 2022. Harris Theater. 809 Liberty Ave., Downtown. $ 9-11, free for The thing. TrustArts.org/Film