The Art Angle Podcast: Why Horror Movies Keep Haunting the Art World

It's spooky szn, and we are here for it.

Scream Queen Toni Collette in Hereditary.

Welcome to the Art Angle, a podcast from Artnet News that delves into the places where the art world meets the real world, bringing each week’s biggest story down to earth. Join us every week for an in-depth look at what matters most in museums, the art market, and much more with input from our own writers and editors as well as artists, curators, and other top experts in the field.



If you consider yourself a dedicated fan of contemporary art, then you’re probably no stranger to watching things onscreen that the average person would find bizarre, upsetting, or even downright gruesome.

So it should come as no surprise that the art world—and the Artnet News staff—contains more than a couple diehard fans of horror movies, too. But what’s more surprising than the contemporary art world taking an interest in Hollywood horror flicks, is that Hollywood horror flicks increasingly seem to be taking an interest in the contemporary art world.

Over the past few years, big-name studios and production companies have released multiple hair-raising feature films with—you guessed it—an art angle. And while each one of these movies has sunk its claws into different aspects of the art industry, the fact that screenwriters and directors keep coming back to it for spooky material suggests that something larger is afoot in the broader culture’s perception of the strange little cult we call the art world.

In honor of Halloween, Artnet News reporter and horror aficionado Taylor Dafoe wrote a piece that offered up some ideas about why, exactly, contemporary art has haunted so many recent releases. Through the cursed app known as Zoom, Taylor joined art business editor Tim Schneider to talk about three recent films featured in that piece: Candyman, Velvet Buzzsaw, and Hereditary. A haunted housekeeping item before we begin: If you haven’t seen those movies but want to, be advised that there are spoilers scattered throughout the episode.

Lock your doors, turn out the lights, and follow us into the dark…if you dare.

Listen to Other Episodes:

The Art Angle Podcast: Judy Chicago on How to Build a Lasting Art Career

The Art Angle Podcast: 5 Technologies That Will Transform the Art World by 2030

The Art Angle Podcast: Elusive Artist Ryoji Ikeda Wants You to Bask in His ‘Data-Verse’

The Art Angle Podcast: How Art Basel Did (and Didn’t) Change After a Two-Year Hiatus

The Art Angle Podcast: Writer Roxane Gay on What Art Can Teach Us About Trauma and Healing

The Art Angle Podcast: Keltie Ferris and Peter Halley on the Mysterious Joys of Making a Painting

The Art Angle Podcast: How Facebook and the Helsinki Biennial Share a Vision for the Art World’s Future

The Art Angle Podcast: Artists in Residence at the World Trade Center Reflect on 9/11

The Art Angle Podcast: Genesis Tramaine on How Faith Inspires Her Art


Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.