With blood-red leaves dripping from the trees, the sickly-sweet smell of rotting pumpkins by the side of the road, and roving packs of children wearing full-body coveralls and hockey masks, it can be safely assumed that it’s festival season again. As part of Biff Bam Pop!’s 31 Days of Horror 2019, we’ll be covering some of the choicest morsels from the fourth annual Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, which takes place in – sit down for this one – Brooklyn from October 17th to the 24th. Here are some of our top picks for the Festival:
In his stunning sophomore film, Adam Egypt Mortimer has crafted a vision of mental illness and trauma that draws upon fantasy and horror to keep it’s audience guessing. Performances from Miles Robbins, Sasha Lane, Patrick Schwarzenegger, and Mary Stuart Masterson leap off the screen as this tale of an imaginary friend that’s neither imaginary nor a friend wraps around you and doesn’t let go.
Jagoda Szelc’s second feature is a moody, claustrophobic nightmare about the loss of identity and the trampling of individual rights and dignity, all wrapped up in a creepy hotel where something sinister lurks beyond every corner. When a group of interns arrive at a remote hotel and are immediately debased and put to work in what seems like an unending hazing ritual, the kids are most certainly not alright.
A sun-soaked bottle thriller where hell truly is other people, Rafael and Bernardo Antonnacio present an unsettling look at how quickly things can escalate between four friends and a pile of secrets. With a climax that will keep you guessing and some deeply uncomfortable tension between the four main characters, In The Quarry will burrow into your brain, and maybe force you to question some of your friendships.
“CM Punk! CM Punk!” is what you’d be chanting at Travis Stevens’ The Girl On The Third Floor, if you were the type of dipshit that yells wrestling chants at a movie screen. Phil “CM Punk” Brooks stars in this Hitchcockian thriller about a dude who encounters some spectral weirdness while doing home renovations. One of the buzzier films in Brooklyn’s lineup, this looks to be a crowd-pleaser, and another addition to Punk’s repertoire of horror roles, which also includes Jen and Sylvia Soska’s Rabid.
Kurtis David Harder’s mid-90’s-set horror addresses the deep-seated fear brought on by homophobia and marginalization. A same-sex couple and their teenage daughter are targeted by a strange group that is less than welcoming of the family into their community. A chilling snapshot of America that’s more than relevant today – it’s essential.
I got to see Neasa Hardiman’s Sea Fever last month at the Toronto Film Festival and it was one of the biggest genre surprises in that lineup. Aiming for a similar vibe of The Thing, with more than a little body horror, some extremely compelling character work, and a unique creature design as well, this should be a fun experience for the Brooklyn audience that’ll make you think twice about getting on your next sea voyage.
This is only a small slice of the Brooklyn lineup that also includes the powerful and fun-as-hell Indigenous zombie horror, Blood Quantum, the melancholy and affecting Swallow, Laotian horror The Long Walk from the mind of Dearest Sister’s Mattie Do, and many more. Beyond the features, BHFF offers an outstanding slate of short films, live talks from horror legends Larry Fessenden and Karen Arthur, and a rare live screening of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari with a live score.
As the weather cools and the season for spook-a-doodles approaches, find yourself in Brooklyn for the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, and check out our coverage here on Biff Bam Pop!
The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival runs from October 17th to October 24th. You can get schedules, ticket information, and more at their website, here.