Night of the Living Dead

  • Tues Oct 31
  • Thur Nov 2
Night of the Living Dead
George Romero
Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea

“The parallels are simply too good to pass up: like a sunken-eyed ghoul crawling out of its own grave, George A. Romero’s 1968 homemade horror show [about flesh-eating zombies] Night of the Living Dead has returned to wreak havoc. It’s been a long road through hell for the cult film, but with a ravishing new 4K restoration from the Museum of Modern Art and the Film Foundation… one of horror cinema’s most seminal works has risen again to stalk the Earth. Scrubbed of its scratches without sacrificing an ounce of its gritty essence, the 48-year-old film looks like it could’ve been shot earlier this year. The eerie, reverb-heavy soundtrack has never sounded crisper or more mesmerizing. (You can practically hear Judith O’Dea’s vocal cords quivering every time she screams.) And the high-contrast black-and-white photography has gained a terrible, brutalist beauty. The clarity of the images has a curious effect on the zombified extras in particular — the enhanced detail reveals the bare-bones artifice of their costuming and makeup, which only makes them more disturbing. But it’s vital to clarify that while this is a fresher Night of the Living Dead, it is by no means a cleaner one. And rightly so, says MoMA’s Department of Film curator Josh Siegel. ‘It’s always important to honor the way a film looked when it was released theatrically,’ Siegel says. ‘When we work with living filmmakers, we gently admonish them not to try to improve on the original, but honor the aesthetic of their original. Filmmakers want to make changes to their work, and that’s understandable. But the point is to have the experience that people had in ’68, when they saw this in a startling way. There’s a rawness you don’t want to lose.’” (The Verge)


New Digital Restoration
DCP bw
1 hour 30 minutes
release year/country
1968 USA