The O’Neill Library’s horror genre show, Under the Mountain, turns one this month.
The series was created to be a community resource for exclusive author events and film screenings celebrating the horror genre in literature and cinema.
Librarian Anthony Bacca, who came up with the idea for Under the Mountain, said it was because of his interest in horror and a variety of media of varying value, from film to creative writing and art.
“This is more than just a film screening series, it’s a celebration of all things spooky and spooky,” he said.
Last year, Under the Mountain’s programming brought multiple film screenings and events to the library. Guests include award-winning authors such as Stephen Graham-Jones and Jeff Vandermeer, as well as Birmingham-based artist and writer Brihi Tippetts. Last month, award-winning voice actor Matt Godfrey read a classic Christmas ghost story live.
As a long-running and far-reaching genre, Vacca said horror is often dismissed.
“We want to excite our fans, but it’s equally important to welcome those who think the genre is no good for them.”…the horror genre. What people don’t realize about is that we have a pretty rich community, that the idea of inclusivity and a welcoming atmosphere is so important, and that we create things that celebrate it for like-minded people. That’s it.”
Events are held monthly, and Vacca shared three events scheduled for early 2023.
On January 8th, the Under the Mountain birthday screening of the 1979 Spanish horror film Arrebato (Rapture) will take place.
After the screening, there will be a panel discussion with Nick Campbell, Gareth Jones and Sarah Valentin-Sanchez. There’s also music, free spooky short stories featuring illustrations by local artists, raffle prizes, birthday his cake, snacks, and free adult drinks.
On February 5th, Under the Mountain will screen the original 1985 Fright Night. On March 18th, UTM will feature best-selling author Grady Hendrix. He is known for his 2014 novel ‘Horrorstör’ and the recent Hulu movie adaptation ‘My Best Friend’s Exorcism’. His focus is on his latest book, How to Sell a Haunted House, which will be released in January.
Vacca said he always aims to create something unique that draws people in and keeps them coming back. The program started small but has continued to grow throughout his first year.
UTM is also partnering with the ‘TVs of Terror’ series in Saturn Birmingham.
“We both hire talented people and want to make sure everyone knows about it,” said Vacca.
Guests don’t have to be members of the library or even residents of Mountain Brook to attend the event. Those who register in advance through the website have a greater chance of winning raffle prizes.
“The idea is to keep doing author events and film screenings,” Vacca said. “We’re always open to doing unique things for our events. You can always look to create something that becomes an experience.
For more information about Under the Mountain, search @undrmtn on social media or visit onealllibrary.org/utm.