Class to explore most frightening horror films

October 22, 2014

Halloween for many is a time to check out haunted houses, fright fests and any other activity promising to scare the living daylights out of someone. Horror films for decades have been doing just that, pushing physical and mental boundaries for thrill-seekers and scaredy-cats alike.

Just in time for the holiday, Harper College's Continuing Education department will put on the seasonal class "Hysterics: Horror and Hysteria in Film."

Instructor Kiel Cross will explore horror films known for being the most frightening of their time, whether they bring viewers face-to-face with the reanimated dead, introduce you to unimaginable creatures or challenge your beliefs in religion and the world around you. He'll look at what relevance films had at the time and how horror has changed to fit into popular culture today.

"There are psychological fears we all have inherently, perhaps a fear of the unknown or a fear of the dark," said Cross, who also teaches about monster makeup and special effects in film. "A lot of the most horrifying movies play off the stuff we were scared of as kids, so there's widespread appeal in the genre."

The class will run from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, in Building J, Room J242, on the College's main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine.

Cross will guide students through a history of classic horror films including "Frankenstein," "Night of the Living Dead" and the 1922 German film "Nosferatu," as well as more modern flicks such as "Shaun of the Dead."

"We wouldn't want to be scared or have our life threatened on a daily basis, but in a controlled environment it's fun once awhile," Cross said.

Tuition for the class is $49. To register, call 847.925.6300 or visit

Media note: Harper's Continuing Education department puts on several courses related to the paranormal. Two additional ongoing courses around Halloween include "Ghosts of the Civil War" on Wednesdays through Nov. 12 and "The Supernatural of Folktales: More Horror, Gore and Lore" on Thursdays through Dec. 18. Reporters are welcome to attend. Contact Kim Pohl, Media Relations Manager, 847.925.6159.