'Halloween' will be celebrating its 40th anniversary at the upcoming Sitges Festival
The film competition will also be remembering the Frankenstein myth on its bicentennial, highlighting its feminine origin and mythology
The 51st Sitges - International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia is adding two new thematic focuses that will complement the film competition’s previously announced leitmotiv revolving around the 50th anniversary of the legendary 2001: A Space Odyssey by Stanley Kubrick, and of fantasy that appeared in 1968, like the fundamental Night of the Living Dead, by George A. Romero. The Festival will commemorate the 1978 premiere of Halloween, John Carpenter’s seminal movie that channeled into the influences of the most terrifying psycho-killers, giallos and serial killers, creating a subgenre known as “slasher”.
The “slasher” –that dominated horror movies starting in the late 70s and throughout the 80s–established a series of rules and certified the active and passive prominence of teens in genre, mythologizing characters like Michael Myers or Jason Vorhees through a series of low-budget products with high commercial return, both on the big screen and in the emerging business of movie rentals in VHS format. Many of those films, hardly or not at all valued by the critics at the time, have gone on to become cult films rescued from obscurity thanks to the success of the Scream saga, created by Wes Craven and that, at the same time, generated a new wave of slashers that, in many cases, were remakes or sequels of the big eighties blockbusters. In a retrospective, Sitges will be rediscovering some of the best films from this subgenre, and investigating their origins and legacy.
In addition, the bicentennial of the publication of Frankenstein will also be embraced by Sitges in a retrospective highlighting the feminine nature of the myth, emphasizing not only the fact that it was the first key science fiction and horror novel written by a woman (Mary W. Shelley) but also the importance of the female figure in many of its adaptations like Bride of Frankenstein, by James Whale or Frankenstein Created Woman, by Terence Fisher.