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Can't Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film explores the world of horror film through the eyes of three iconic Hollywood horror directors.

Curator: Jacob McMurray
Exhibition Design: Curious Beast
Interactive Design: Aleen Adams, Belle & Wissell, Philip Worthington
Graphic Design: Benjamin Shown
Illustration: Invisible Creature
Films: David Wulzen, Nik Perleros
Fabrication: Addy Froehlich, Keith Griffith, Turner Exhibits
Exhibition Score: Steve Fisk, Downtown Composer Collective

Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle, October 2, 2011 - July 31, 2017


For more than a century, horror films have thrilled and frightened audiences, providing heart-pounding terror and sleepless nights.

But horror films offer more than just entertainment. They express the primal emotions of the human experience by tapping into the anxieties of contemporary culture and visualizing the unspeakable fears and forbidden desires that lie just beneath the polite face of society.

In this exhibition, three iconic horror directors – Roger Corman, John Landis, and Eli Roth – have curated a selection of their favorite horror films that illustrate the power of the genre, providing a foundation for exploring the spectrum of horror cinema, from its inception at the turn of the 20th century to the present.

Don’t be scared. It’s only make-believe. Isn’t it?

Selected Press:
“I'm an English professor at Edmonds Community College, where I teach a class on Monsters of Film and Literature. I was so impressed with the Can't Look Away exhibit that I encouraged all of my students to visit the museum and spend a day taking notes. Your exhibit is the perfect balance of kitschy, interactive fun with serious academic consideration of the nature of fear, horror, and American culture. I bought a membership that day because I knew that I would be back many times over the next year. Thank you for such interesting and informative exhibits.” – Evan J. Peterson

“The horror movie exhibit at the EMP [MoPOP] is actually kind of inspiring.” – Colin Meloy, The Decemberists, via Twitter

“To my mind, Can't Look Away is one of the most sophisticated and thought-provoking exhibitions ever developed on the American cultural landscape.”  – Mark Auslander, Associate Professor of Anthropology & Museum Studies, and Director, Museum of Culture and Environment, Central Washington University