The Seventh Annual Brooklyn Horror Film Festival Is Nearly Upon Us
As the spookiest time of the year quickly approaches, cinephiles everywhere will surely be preparing their horror movie marathons and midnight screenings. Luckily, the options they have to choose from has just grown immensely with the Brooklyn Horror FIlm Festival having unveiled its slate of films for the seventh annual iteration of the festival. The festival is being presented by Shudder, everybody’s favorite streaming service for horror, and will be taking place at Nitehawk Cinema Williamsburg and Williamsburg Cinemas from October 13–20, 2022. The lineup this year is simply to die for, with a range of premiers, retrospective screenings, and must-attend live events.
As previously announced, the festival will open with the East Coast premiere of Nocebo, directed by BHFF and Cannes alum Lorcan Finnegan and starring Eva Green. More recently, BHFF has just revealed the closing film of the festival will be the U.S. Premiere of the “Straight Cut” of Gaspar Noe’s Irreversible, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of the film. Another key event and screening of the festival is the Centerpiece selection: Falcon Lake. Directed by Charlotte Le Bon, this supernatural coming-of-age debut feature is coming straight from TIFF to Brooklyn. These three special events are just the tip of the iceberg, and join the slate of films that are broken out into five categories: Dark Matter, Head Trip, Slayed LGBTQ+ Horror Films, Fear In Focus: French Extremity, and The Gates of Hell And Beyond: A Lucio Fulci Retrospective.
For more information on the range of films coming to the 7th annual BHFF, check out the list below or the official BHFF website, and be sure to stay tuned for deeper coverage of the films and overall festival experience at wtrpod.com!
- Christmas Bloody Christmas (2022): All that record store owner Tori wants to do this Christmas is drink and hook up—simple enough, right? Apparently not, thanks to a decorative, human-sized robotic Santa Claus that’s come to life for a nonstop rampage of murder and destruction. Picking up where he left off with his 2019 double bill of BLISS and VFW, modern exploitation maven Joe Begos returns with a relentless and stylish Yuletide adrenaline rush that’s part slasher and part ode to ’80s techno sci-fi/horror like THE TERMINATOR.
- Daughter (2022): Held against her will inside an isolated house deep in the woods, a young woman has no choice but to challenge the interpersonal dynamics and self-imposed rules of her captors, a three-person nuclear family that believes the air outside is toxic and that the apocalypse has arrived.A Dark Star Pictures Release.
- Evil Eye (2022): With all hope seemingly lost, and needing time to themselves to find the best medical care, a critically sick young girl’s parents leave her and her older sister at grandma’s house, where bedtime stories about a demonic shapeshifter turn out to be more than fiction.
- Flowing (2022): Reeling from the devastating death of their matriarch in a tragic car accident, the Morel family is shattered. Rather than bind together in shared grief, father and son deflect blame and lash out at each other in anger. The little sister, also sadly wounded in the accident, can only watch as the rest of her loved ones destroy what's left of their family from the inside out. All the while a mysterious gas is seeping from out of the sewers that causes you to hallucinate your most painful, repressed thoughts. A dark and stormy Rome sets the stage for despair on a direct path to bloody carnage.
- Ghostwritten (2022): Clinging to the reputation of his one hit novel, writer Guy Laury (Jay Duplass) accepts a winter residency on a reclusive island whose residents seem friendly at first. The discovery of a lost manuscript and its possible ties to a longstanding local murder case, however, throw into question the intentions of everyone around him.
- Give Me An A (2022): An urgent and passionate response to the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, GIVE ME AN A is an anthology collecting 15 brand new shorts and a wraparound piece running the genre gamut from satire to horror, all thematically focused on abortion rights and bodily autonomy. An ambitious project put together in record time, GIVE ME AN A sees a massive ensemble of female filmmakers gather in unprecedented fashion to use their creative voices at a crucial moment in history. This is art for survival. 100% of proceeds from the screening will be donated to The New York Abortion Access Fund (NYAAF) to help provide access to reproductive services.
- The Harbinger (2022): While quarantining outside the city with her brother and father at the height of COVID, Monique defies their stay-at-home wishes to visit an old friend in Queens who’s suffering from nightmares of a plague-mask-clad demon. Before long, the demon latches onto Monique, sending her already-present fears and anxieties about COVID into hyperdrive. Writer-director Andy Mitton (THE WITCH IN THE WINDOW) delivers a haunting and clever look at our traumatic, collective pandemic experience through a supernatural, ELM-STREET-tinged lens. An XYZ Films Release.
- Influencer (2022): Despite what she tells her loyal followers on IG, social media influencer Madison is having a lonely and disappointingly uneventful visit in Thailand. Her experience does a miraculous 180 when she meets CW, another traveler who seems to thrive on her own. After showing Madison all the amazing sights, CW saves the best surprise for last—a deserted island completely off the grid. Kurtis David Harder (BHFF 2019 selection SPIRAL) directs this sneakily twisted thriller that begs the question, are we the stars of our own stories or is no one?
- Jack Be Nimble (1993): Certified Forgotten co-hosts Matt Donato and Matt Monagle are joined by the curators of Horror: Messaging the Monstrous at MoMA — Caryn Coleman and Ron Magliozzi — for an exclusive Brooklyn Horror live podcast episode to discuss New Zealand’s lost 1993 gem JACK BE NIMBLE. First you’ll watch a very special screening that brings the gothic tale starring Alexis Arquette back to theaters, then enjoy a conversation between the Matts and their guests about forgotten horror cinema.
- King On Screen (2022): It’s no mystery that horror literature icon Stephen King has also been the engine behind some of the genre’s most memorable films, from THE SHINING to CARRIE, MISERY and the recent one-two punch of IT. In this insightful and engaging documentary, filmmaker Daphné Baiwir sits down with several of the directors behind your favorite King adaptations, including Frank Darabont, Mike Flanagan, and Mick Garris, to examine why the legendary author’s works translate so well in visual form.
- Megalomaniac (2022): An uncompromising vision exploring the grimiest recesses of humanity, MEGALOMANIAC presents a tale of darkness in its many fucked up forms. With undeniably stunning composition, violence, and performances, Director Karim Ouelhaj shows off his next-level craftsmanship with this toolbox of horrors inspired by the true life and never caught Belgian serial killer, The Butcher of Mons.
- Mother Superior (2022): Sigrun Fink, an anesthesiologist-in-training, agrees to work as in-home nurse for an aging Baroness in her dilapidated manor. The old woman, once director of an Aryan maternity ward, might be able to help Sigrun locate her real parents—a mystery she’s been tormented by her entire life. Although answers quickly begin to reveal themselves, they come at a high price, one of dangerous folk magic and insidious occult ideals. From the incredibly stylish opening credits to the gorgeous gothic imagery and dynamic storytelling, you’d never guess this is director Marie Alice Wolfszahn’s first feature. A remarkable debut.
- Nocebo (2022): Successful fashion designer Christine (Eva Green, Penny Dreadful) is plagued by a baffling ailment that causes a myriad of issues including paralyzing muscle spasms, memory loss and terrible hallucinations. Much to her surprise, a mysterious Filipino caretaker named Diana arrives on her doorstep claiming Christine hired her to help with the house. When Diana begins to use traditional folk remedies to heal Christine, she causes a rift between her and her husband Felix (Mark Strong, 1917, THE KINGSMAN franchise) and slowly unravels the disturbing truth behind Christine’s illness. Brooklyn Horror is proud to welcome back Lorcan Finnegan to the fest, director of eco-horror WITHOUT NAME (BHFF 2016 Best Feature winner) and psychological thriller VIVARIUM. Based on the Nocebo Effect—the idea that negative thinking will lead to negative results—NOCEBO is a mind-bending folk horror stunner with haunting real-world implications.
- NightMare (2022): Eager to start their new life together, Mona and Robby have everything set: a new apartment, Robby’s new job, and Mona’s pregnancy. While things feel wonderful for Robby, though, Mona can’t shake the feeling that the strange occurrences around their apartment building are connected to her feeling that something inhuman wants the baby that’s inside her.
- Phantom Of The Opera - Live Score (1925): The first American adaptation of French author Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel, this Universal Pictures-backed version of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA remains, thanks to Lon Chaney’s breathtaking physical transformation and amazing performance as the title character, a timeless gold standard within silent film horror. BHFF is thrilled to bring it to the big screen complete with an original live score from The Flushing Remonstrance (the duo of Catherine Cramer and Robert Kennedy), who are returning to the festival following their 2019 live score performance for THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI.
- Repulse (2022): The lives of two families with nothing in common —other than heavy emotional dysfunction — randomly collide and spiral into a web of abduction, filth, terror, and death in this disturbing and unique knockout. With its minimal dialogue and off-kilter lack of narrative chronology, writer-director Emil Křižka’s stunning mystery box of a debut upends familiar tropes and horror imagery as it seeps into your mind and leaves its grimy mark. It’s the kind of discovery that film festivals are all about.
- Run Sweetheart Run (2022): What starts off as a promising client meeting for single mom Cherie devolves into a fight for her life throughout the streets of Los Angeles in writer-director-producer Shana Feste’s slick, must-see thriller. Originally launching at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, this Blumhouse-Prime Video backed horror film will make its New York debut in Brooklyn. A Prime Video Release.
- Sinphony (2022): Ghosts, witches, parasites, and more populate the nine segments in this ambitious and uniquely conceived anthology. Born out of the social audio app Clubhouse, SINPHONY introduces a new crop of horror filmmakers who pack as much energy and unpredictability as possible into their respective shorts, resulting in a lively omnibus that never lets up. A Dark Sky Films Release.
- Satan’s Slaves 2: Communion (2022): In this direct sequel to his terrifying instant classic SATAN’S SLAVES (2017), director Joko Anwar re-introduces us to the same family now living in a doomed high-rise apartment building. After a night of terrible floods traps them inside, the dead return to terrorize them once again. Anwar continues to build out an exciting mythology with this gory and demented follow-up that is appointment viewing for all fans of the current wave of Indonesian horror.
- Summoners (2022): Former witch Jessica Whitman hasn’t casted a spell in almost ten years. When her childhood friend Alana Wheeler desperately seeks her help in performing a dark spell, Jessica is plunged back into a world of witchcraft more dangerous and powerful than ever before. Terence Krey and Christine Nyland, the filmmaking team behind 2020’s indie gem AN UNQUIET GRAVE, followed their witchy hearts with this deeply humanistic chiller co-starring indie icon Larry Fessenden.
- Terror Train (2022): Lovers of '80s slasher cinema know all about the Jamie-Lee-Curtis-led favorite TERROR TRAIN (1980). Now, 42 years later, Tubi is set to thrill horror fans with a contemporary reimagining of this cult classic. Keeping many of the original’s elements, including the killer’s clown mask obsession, intact, Tubi’s rambunctious and blood-drenched new remake takes place during a Halloween-themed bash, where college seniors on board a party train soon find themselves amidst locomotive-bound carnage en route to its body-count-heavy final destination. A Tubi Original.
- V/H/S/99 (2022): Experience the pandemonium of Y2K all over again with the latest entry in the iconic V/H/S found-footage horror anthology franchise, featuring a collection of the series’ most impressive segments to date. With directors Joseph and Vanessa Winter (DEADSTREAM) hosting an insane New Year’s Eve party, Flying Lotus’ (KUSO) gross-out game show, Johannes Roberts’ (47 METERS DOWN) sorority hazing ritual, Maggie Levin’s (INTO THE DARK) punk rock terror, and Tyler MacIntyre (TRAGEDY GIRLS) voyeuristic freak out, V/H/S/99 is a nostalgic trip through the past laced with ’90s rock, spiders, and lots of blood. A Shudder Release.
- Year of the Shark (2022): Tough and humorless maritime cop Maja is finally ready for well-deserved retirement when bodies begin washing up on the shore. As she becomes hell-bent on proving it’s all a bloodthirsty shark’s doing, the community shrugs off her warnings.
- All Jacked Up And Full Of Worms (2022): If you are looking through the festival slate for a movie that is the most out-there, eye-popping, what-hole-did-this-crawl-out-from, all-jacked-up-and-full-of-worms type of movie, then you won’t want to miss Alex Phillips’ electric debut, ALL JACKED UP AND FULL OF WORMS. Take a trip with Roscoe (Phillip Andre Botello) and Benny (Trevor Dawkins) through their downward spiral of drugs, sex and primordial ooze. A Cinedigm, Bloody Disgusting, SCREAMBOX, and Fandor Release.
- Falcon Lake (2022): Caught between childhood and adulthood, Bastien and Chloè spend their summer vacation with their families at a haunted lake cabin in rural Quebec. Tropes of drowning, ghosts, and death linger throughout the assured debut by actor turned director Charlotte Le Bon that follows two teens whose few days together will ultimately change them forever.
- Jethica (2022): An impromptu reunion between old high school friends Jessica and Elena (Callie Hernandez, BLAIR WITCH) in New Mexico is rudely interrupted by the implausible arrival of Jessica’s relentless stalker with a lisp, Kevin (Will Madden, THE WOLF OF SNOW HOLLOW). Super funny yet highly respectful of its serious subject matter, this paranormal comedy/noir thriller-hybrid represents the combined creative efforts of the main cast who helped devise the script as they went along. An exciting example of indie filmmaking ingenuity.
- Mother, May I? (2022): Emmett (Kyle Gallner, JENNIFER’S BODY, DINNER IN AMERICA) enters into a nightmarish game of therapy with his wife Anya (Holland Roden, Teen Wolf, Channel Zero) who has inexplicably taken on the persona of his estranged and recently-deceased mother. Bizarre and creepy in equal doses, this psychological thriller from director Laurence Vannicelli (co-writer/EP of 2019’s PORNO) will keep you guessing if this is truly possession or just a twisted battle of wills?
- Next Exit (2022): The world changes in a flash when a scientist shockingly claims she's able to track consciousness after death hence proving the existence of an afterlife. Rose and Teddy, two deeply tormented strangers on their way to join this new study, cross paths and reluctantly agree to travel together cross-country. The journey to voluntarily end their lives proves not to be such an easy exit plan as they're haunted both literally and figuratively by the ghosts of their pasts. A Magnolia Pictures Release.
- Old Flame (2022): A horrible secret from the past can no longer be contained when two ex-lovers meet up at a college reunion. Tension mounts and slowly builds over a series of conversations told in a theatrical three-act structure before boiling over into violence. Accomplished actor Christopher Denham (SHUTTER ISLAND, ARGO), directing for the first time since 2014’s PRESERVATION, puts truth, memory, and perspective dangerously into question in a compelling and challenging two-character thriller.
- Sick Of Myself (2022): Everything in their relationship is a competition for Signe (Kristine Kujath Thorp, NINJA BABY) and her boyfriend Thomas. When Thomas finds success in the modern art world, Signe scratches for a way to put the spotlight back on herself. She finds her answer in sympathy baiting, ultimately landing on a new pill with a dangerous side-effect. Body horror by trojan horse, SICK OF MYSELF sees the fantastic Norwegian actress Kristine Kujath Thorp create a literal attention-seeking monster. A must-see. A Utopia Distribution Release.
- Slash/Back (2022): It's another boring summer lamenting how lame their lives are for Maika and the girls of Pangnirtung, a tiny northern hamlet in the Arctic Ocean. When Pang is invaded by shape shifting aliens, the teens are forced to become the hunters they were born to be and rediscover a love for their beautiful home. An RLJE/Shudder Release.
- Something In The Dirt (2022): Two neighbors in a future Los Angeles join forces to record and document an otherworldly phenomena taking place in one of their apartments. Now major players in the Marvel Universe sandbox, genre film darlings Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead (SPRING, THE ENDLESS) have returned to their independent sci-fi roots, adding another cosmic mindfuck to their resume. An XYZ Films Release.
- The Weird Kidz (2022): Three 12-year-old boys, including the precocious Dug, excitedly tag along with Dug’s older brother and his new girlfriend for a night of fireside camping. Their good times are rudely interrupted, though, when a local monster legend known as the “Night Child” turns out to be all too real. Painstakingly hand-drawn over eight years, veteran editor Zach Passero’s animated horror-comedy nails every fun-loving beat you could possibly want from a raucous yet heartfelt ode to ’80s coming-of-age genre films.
Slayed LGBTQ+ Horror Films
- Huesera (2022): Being pregnant with her first child should be the most exciting time of Valeria’s life—everyone else around her, namely her boyfriend, certainly thinks as much. But as nightmarish visions put her at the mercy of a restless demon, Valeria seeks solace from the woman she once loved and help from a coven of witches whose methods are, well, peculiar. A multi-award winner at this year’s Tribeca Festival, BHFF alum Michelle Garza Cervera’s stunning debut sets a new standard for motherhood-minded horror. An XYZ Films Release.
- Living With Chucky (2022): The most famous pint-sized serial killer and My Buddy doll from hell, Chucky, has turned out to be the most enduring slasher icon of the 80's. Piling up eight features, multiple reinventions and now a hit television show, the Chucky franchise has bewitched multiple generations of horror film lovers and enriched the queer horror canon like no other before it. Director Kyra Elise Gardner takes you on an incredibly personal behind-the-scenes journey from the very beginnings of Child’s Play through its continued evolution with interviews from the likes of Don Mancini, Brad & Fiona Dourif, and Jennifer Tilly—the people who have lived with Chucky the longest.
- Society (1989): Being released via Feminist Press, the new book It Came From The Closet examines dozens of horror classics through essays that re-contextualize the films with fresh, queer points of view. One such film is Brian Yuzna’s bonkers SOCIETY, a late-’80s gem of body horror excess that follows a Beverly Hills teen whose parents belong to the grossest cult imaginable and features one of the wildest finales in cinema history. BHFF’s special SOCIETY screening will be introduced by It Came From The Closet editor Joe Vallese.
- Swallowed (2022): A quick, easy drug run orchestrated by his best friend Dom is supposed to send Ben off to his new life in California with some extra cash in his pocket. They arrive at the pick-up location to find Dom's cousin drugged up and her intense, take-no-bullshit girlfriend Alice (Jena Malone, Donnie Darko, The Neon Demon) calling the shots. She insists the only way to get their money is to smuggle the drugs past the state border by way of ingesting them. Then it all goes to hell. A new queer nightmare from Carter Smith (director of The Ruins), Swallowed is a dirty and disturbing, body horror love story featuring a delightfully unhinged supporting turn from Mark Patton (Scream, Queen! My Nightmare On Elm Street).
Fear In Focus: French Extremity
- Baise Moi (2001): Fed up with being pushed to the side and literally assaulted by society, particularly by men, two women decide to fight back by killing as many said men as possible. With its unflinching sexual violence and gruesome homicides, Virginie Despentes and Coralie Trinh Thi’s in-your-face Baise Moi (translation: “Fuck me”) has rightfully earned a reputation as one of the more controversial examples of the “New French Extremity.”
- Calvaire (2004): The setup is basic enough: A guy, lost in an unfamiliar town, is taken in by a seemingly kind stranger after his van breaks down. Everything after that, however, is anything but basic. One of the most underrated of all early 2000s horror films, Fabrice Du Welz’s (VINYAN, ALLELUIA) debut feature is mesmerizingly unclassifiable, merging the weird with the creepy and the flat-out vicious to form a beautiful stew of insanity. And with this new restoration, Du Welz’s bizarre masterwork has never looked better. A Yellow Veil Pictures Release.
- Criminal Lovers (1999): Two teenage lovers think they’ve committed the perfect murder by offing a classmate and dumping his body in the woods. Unfortunately, an old hermit living in those woods has other thoughts on the matter and locks the couple up in his basement, jumpstarting a series of horrific events.
- Fat Girl (2001): Directed by French provocateur Catherine Breillat, Fat Girl follows a sibling rivalry between two adolescent sisters on a trying family vacation. 12-year-old Anais is forced to watch as her 15-year-old sister Elena falls prey to the relentless seduction of an older Italian student. A harsh yet genuine depiction of sisterhood fraught with jealousy, unconditional love and youthful desire all leading up to a heartbreaking, brutal end.
- Irreversible - Straight Cut (2002): If you’ve experienced Gaspar Noé’s incredible Irreversible, you know that it’s an assaultive and brilliant look at the psychological damages caused by sexual violence and blood-lusting revenge, one presented as a backwards narrative that unconventionally reveals its characters motivations. Their actions, as well as the nihilism of the film itself, take on a whole new dynamic here, with Noé presenting the narrative in its proper chronological order, giving an already singularly powerful masterpiece the ability to cause a newfound dose of visceral devastation.
The Gates Of Hell And Beyond: A Lucio Fulci Retrospective
- The Beyond: Composer’s Cut (1981): The second entry into Fulci’s “Gates of Hell” trilogy, this may be the director’s true magnum opus, a disorienting and, let’s face it, narratively confusing but nevertheless wonderful piece of nasty dream logic horror. An unlucky woman inherits a rundown Louisiana hotel that just so happens to be the doorway to Hell and its zombie masses. For the film’s latest edition, original composer Fabio Frizzi has arranged a brand-new score that brings new life to Fulci’s undead classic.
- A Cat in the Brain (1990): For one of this lasts forays into hard-R-rated genre filmmaking, Fulci went full meta, starring as a horror director whose mentally unstable visions of homicide may or may not be evidence that he’s moonlighting as a murderous lunatic. Complete with clips from Fulci’s earlier films and leveled out by plenty of self-aware black comedy, A Cat in the Brain is a delightful, albeit oft-overlooked, bookend to the filmmaker’s horror legacy. - Don’t Torture a Duckling (1972): One of Fulci’s earliest forays into corpse-riddled giallo cinema, this brutal serial killer mystery, surrounding a homicidal maniac who targets children through potentially supernatural means, features an unruly and hugely entertaining stew of bloodshed, voodoo, gypsy occultism, and decapitated Donald Duck toys. It’s also considered to be Fulci’s first wall-to-wall gorefest. - City of the Living Dead (1980) 35mm Screening: The plot of the first in his “Gates of Hell” trilogy is vintage Fulci: A priest opens a portal to Hell that unleashes an endless horde of puss-covered, goo-oozing zombies onto the world, starting in New York City. With its NYC story ties, this H.P. Lovecraft-inspired and hyper-violent gem also exemplifies the filmmaker’s ongoing fascination with New York as a hotbed for horror storytelling. - The House by the Cemetery (1981): The final installment of Fulci’s “Gates of Hell” triptych, this waking New-England-set nightmare has everything you’d want from the filmmaker: visually revolting zombies, agonizingly long sequences of pain and suffering, uncomfortable child peril and, of course, largely incoherent storytelling. Also featuring scenes set in New York City, The House by the Cemetery is a venerable cinematic checklist of Fulci’s most fascinating predilections.
- Manhattan Baby (1982): Because stories centered around buildings that harbored the undead had become old hat at this stage of Fulci’s career, the filmmaker dabbled in even loftier supernatural shenanigans in this underrated slice of gore-laden horror. After an archaeologist opens an Egyptian tomb, his daughter is given a talisman that kick-starts all kinds of otherworldly mayhem that follows them back to their New York City home, where the body-count quickly rises. - The New York Ripper (1982): Fulci’s most controversial stalk-and-slash giallo film is also home to one of the strangest story beats in the Italian horror subgenre’s colorful history. A detective and a college professor hunt down an eight-fingered serial killer who’s offing young Big Apple women in exceedingly perverse ways, but that’s not what makes The New York Rippe such a bizarre effort. That honor goes to the fact that the killer speaks in a hilarious Donald Duck voice, quacks and all. - Zombie (1979): Also known as ZOMBI 2, Fulci’s living dead opus was originally conceived as a kinda-sorta sequel to George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, although any narrative connections to Romero’s mall-set classic are, well, non-existent. Taking place nowhere near a shopping mall, this gruesome masterwork, punctuated by an amazing Fabio Frizzi score, revolves around a walking dead outbreak on a Caribbean island and features, among other sights, horror’s nastiest eyeball gag, an epic “zombie vs. shark” fight scene, and a great Brooklyn Bridge cameo.