Press release – In Dreams Are Monsters

In Dreams Are Monsters is the latest theme for the BFI’s Blockbusters season. Unveiling the rich history and nightmarish lore that the horror genre thrives in is the basis for this upcoming tribute to the dark world of cinema. 

Deriving from the midst of macabre works is the unique sensation that horror exudes, whether that be in ghastly supernatural tales such as Japan’s Ringu (1998) or the transgressive feat of Hellraiser (1987), the film can exasperate the true terrors that lie in societies wake through a lens of obscurity and trepidation. Across the wide spectrum of audiences, the promise of fulfillment is a big statement that In Dreams Are Monsters does not falter upon. In fact, the programme braces the screen for a frightful assortment of features that takes full advantage of horror’s ubiquitous nature. There really is something for everyone. 

Diving deeper into the programme unveils the vast array of themes that have been meticulously curated to conjure a tonal palette reflective of five mythical horror archetypes and the consequential themes that marinate within the models. The beast, ghost, vampire, witch, and zombie delve into the bottomless pit that horror manages to explore through a socially equipped lens, defusing the everyday with assiduously constructed terror. The patterns of the witch denote a threat to the patriarchy, redefining the grossly strict hegemonies that disavow gendered power. This sense of obscurity is also unearthed within the vampire, sucking the life out of others in a strange bid for both life and eroticism within death. Likewise, the beast, ghost, and zombie release a trajectory that aims straight for the apex of societal uphold–monsters may be mythical, but monstrosity is everywhere. 

The arrangements of the programme are tailored by the likes of Micheal Blyth (BFI Festivals, senior programmer), Kelli Weston (Writer), Anna Bogutskaya (writer/broadcaster), alongside Jason Wood (BFI Executive Director of Public Programmes & Audiences). 

Screening alongside triple bills featuring Blacula (1972), Ganja & Hess (1973), and Def by Temptation (1990); the showings of classic monster movies such as Frankenstein (1931), Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954); and even contemporary staples namely Under the Shadow (2016) and The Lure (2015) is a range of guest appearances. Oscar-winning filmmaker Danny Boyle graces the stage for a Q&A following the 20th-anniversary screening of 28 Days Later (2002). Joining the season for conversations and commentaries are Kier-La Janisse (author of House of Psychotic Women [2012]), Lesley Manning and Stephen Volk in a Q&A for Ghostwatch (1992), and Clarence A Peters introducing the premiere of his new television drama Inside Life (2022). 

The immensely packed programme also features a special edition of Mark Kermode Live In 3D, as well as the horror podcasts Evolution of Horror, Brain Rot, and The Final Girls welcoming their commentary on the impact of horror.

With In Dreams Are Monsters travelling all the way into December, selected events will be taking place, including the BFI IMAX cinema being converted into a spooky summer camp for an all-night sleepover, where guests will be marathoning cabin-themed slasher films!

More details on all the screenings and events here

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