It’s the spookiest month of the year, what better time for a horror film festival? And on that front, the fourth annual Brooklyn Horror Film Festival has you covered. It kicks off this week, runs through the weekend, and wraps up next week. In the meantime, it delivers a nice slate of genre goodies and horrific treats to gore up your October.
As usual, BHFF has assembled a solid slate of nasty delights for your amusement and viewing pleasure. There’s a lot to choose from, and I have a few suggestions. Some of these I’ve seen and recommend, others are films I’ve been dying to check out myself. And there is, of course, way more than I have time to cover, so do some research and make your own damn must-see list.
If you lament the lack of testicular torture in current horror cinema, this is the movie for you. Five Christian teens working at a 1990s movie theater find an artsy old porn film, a porn film that also summons a vengeful sex demon. Gory, absurd, and legitimately scary, this is a damn fine time. Watch it with as drunk an audience as you can find.
Swedish director Johannes Nyholm uses a Groundhog Day style time loop to examine loss, death, and parental grief. Oh yeah, the main characters, a couple trying to cope with tragedy, are also repeatedly murdered in brutal fashion by backwoods circus folk.
I wasn’t a huge fan of director Joe Begos’ last feature, Bliss, despite the fact that it appears to have been made purely with me and my sensibilities in mind. Fortunately, his VFW also appears made just for me. It’s his riff on Assault on Precinct 13, only with an army of punk mutants, and stars Stephen Lang, William Sadler, Fred Williamson, and more. I need this in my brain ASAP.
Ah, cults, where would the horror genre be without you? When a recent LA transplant moves into the perfect apartment complex, full of neighbors who are weirdly close, that’s just the beginning. The idyllic setting masks something deep and dark and the plot reportedly pulls from the real experiences of people who got out of Scientology.
Daniel Isn’t Real
What if Drop Dead Fred, but evil? And maybe high on bath salts? That appears to be the concept behind Adam Egypt Mortimer’s Daniel Isn’t Real. A troubled college kid’s old imaginary friend makes a resurgence and wreaks bloody, psychedelic havoc on his life.
Zombie movies are no stranger to social commentary, and Blood Quantum carries that banner. During a zombie outbreak, the only people immune are members of a small indigenous community. Marginalized and oppressed, they find a new balance of power in the most unlikely situation. This is also apparently hella gory, which is always a bonus.
Sheds are where murder happens. That’s just a fact. Frank Sabatella’s The Shed makes use of this inherent death trap, mixing inmonsters, gore, and coming of age drama. Sign me up.
One thing horror movies have taught us is never move from the city to a small town. Especially if you’re any sort of “other.” It never ends well. When a gay couple relocates to the suburbs, they encounter bigotry and homophobia. With a horror twist, it turns out this hatred and intolerance masks something much more evil and ancient.
Girl on the Third Floor
Movies starring professional wrestlers have an up and down track record, but this yarn about a married man, played by CM Punk, fixing up a haunted house is supposed to be gangbusters. And using horror elements like actual demons to expose and explore a character’s inner demons is always welcome.
Garnering comparisons to Alien and The Thing, a biology student’s at-sea educational excursion becomes a tense, claustrophobic battle for survival when her ship hits a mysterious object. Apparently there’s also some sort of nefarious ooze, and I like the sound of that.