In addition to presenting the world’s best indie horror films, the BHFF is also dedicated to supporting the borough’s strongest homegrown cinema. This out of competition section of the festival celebrates Brooklyn’s most exciting genre filmmaking, both past and present. The block will feature the world premiere of PSYCHOTIC! A BROOKLYN SLASHER by directors Maxwell Frey and Derek Gibbons as well as a screening of Michael Winner’s 1977 Brooklyn based horror THE SENTINEL and a shorts program highlighting Brooklyn filmmakers.
In this interactive event, audience members will be asked to place their sobriety in the hands of their favorite critics! Hosted by Matt Donato of We Got This Covered, critics representing portions of the audience will duke it out over genre-related trivia questions and debate topics. Points will be awarded by the host, and each round will have a selected winner—along with losers, who must face whatever libations lay ahead! Competing critics include Perri Nemiroff (Collider), Eric Walkulski (JoBlo), and Max Evry (Shock Till You Drop) and esteemed horror journalist Michael Gingold.
Join us around the campfire to share and listen to horrifying tales of ghosts, monsters, and everything else that goes bump in the night. Held in the backyard of Catland Books, Brooklyn’s finest occult bookstore, each storyteller will have 10 minutes to share their ghoulish tale for the audience. The raconteur with the best story will receive two tickets to a haunted Brooklyn walking tour complimentary of Boroughs of the Dead. The event will be hosted by Melissa Madara, one of the owners at Catland books, who has been a practicing witch for most of her life. In addition to offering consultations with tarot cards, Melissa is also skilled in scrying and wax reading and incorporates these different divination methods into her readings.
The Wall Street Journal calls him “a national treasure.” His mother calls him “Sunshine.” Now, author Grady Hendrix brings his one-man show about psychic teenagers to Brooklyn with Summerland Lost: A Ghost Story. Full of shaved cats and biomechanical sex cults, this is the all-shocking, all-true tale of drunk Victorian teenagers who teamed up with the ghost of Ben Franklin and an Arctic explorer to answer the ultimate question: Is there life after death?
About the Storyteller:
Grady Hendrix is the author of the novels Horrorstör, about a haunted IKEA, and My Best Friend’s Exorcism, which is Beaches meets The Exorcist. One of the founders of the New York Asian Film Festival, he’s written about machine gun collectors, ninjas, the Confederate flag, and Jean-Claude Van Damme for Playboy, Variety, Slate, and the New York Post.
Laos/France/Estonia / Dir: Mattie Do
Hailing from the cinematically neglected country of Laos, DEAREST SISTER is a classically minded supernatural horror-drama about Nok, a young poor woman who moves in with her recently blinded cousin to help take care of her. While living with her afflicted family member, all seems well until she realizes that there’s a catch: her cousin is able to communicate with the dead.
Mexico / Dir/Screenwriter: Emiliano Rocha Minter
Two down-and-out siblings seek refuge inside a rundown building, which is already occupied by a maniacal man who claims to be immortal. The desperate brother and sister concede to the man’s every command, most of which involve S&M, cannibalism, and some good old-fashioned incest. It’s just too bad that mental instability and homicide have to get in the way of their perverted goal of collective euphoria.
Dir: Gigi Saul Guerrero
A woman (Tristan Risk, AMERICAN MARY) wakes up to find herself bound to an altar and greeted by an elderly Mexican couple with a nightmarish plan for her.
Babysitting can be a real nightmare, especially for Helen who’s stuck looking after Lucas, a frightened boy who says he hears noises coming from his bedroom closet. Shortly after he makes those claims Lucas disappears, possibly at the hands of an infamous supernatural serial killer who, as legend has it, eats children’s eyes in order to keep his vision. Helen’s only option? Enter the dark, creepy woods where the mythical “Child Eater” lives to try to save Lucas. And its reign of terror will begin at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival.
An unlucky man thinks the ass-whooping he’s about to receive from a hulking debt collector is going to be painful, but that’s nothing compared to the mythological creature at the end of the road.
After reuniting to sell off their missing father’s video store, two estranged brothers (Chase Williamson, Graham Skipper) discover the store’s darkest product: an old VHS board game that might hold secrets about their dad’s disappearance. Unfortunately, the game is also ready to subject them to unimaginable and brutal supernatural terrors. Wearing its proud ’80s influences like badges of honor, first-time director Jackson Stewart’s BEYOND THE GATES impressively captures that kitschy decade’s horror eccentricities and manic energy. The result is one hell of a vibrant and gruesome roller-coaster ride. Beyond The Gates is the winner of the LA Film Festival Nightfall Jury Prize.
Haunted by a nightmarish childhood and multiple past demons, Evie (Morjana Alaoui, MARTYRS) looks to make a major life change by becoming a live-in caretaker for a former rock star turned quadriplegic invalid. As her patient’s demands and attitude continually get harsher and his friends grow increasingly more disrespectful by the day, Evie’s already-fractured sanity is pushed to its horrific breaking point. Anchored by a harrowing performance from Alaoui, British director Shaun Robert Smith’s BROKEN toes the line between psychological dread and explosive horror right up to its you-gotta-see-it-to-believe-it ending.
Helen has had a tough life, and it all started when her prostitute mother tried to kill her in the womb 23 years ago. Now to make rough matters even worse, Helen suffers a brutal head injury that rattles something loose inside of her, something that’s determined to distort Helen’s reality while gradually making its way out of her—literally. Produced by Black Fawn Films, the on-the-rise Canadian team behind last year’s now-infamous gross-out flick BITE, this visually lavish creepshow finds its own clever and revolting ways to push the gore envelope, all while telling an impressively character-rooted story.
Dir: Jake Hammond
There’s a reason why so few people have seen iconic French director Georges Melies’ film LA RAGE DU DEMON: whenever it’s shown to an audience, the crowd inexplicably erupts into a frenzy of violence, mass hysteria and random death. One theory is that the world’s most dangerous silent film was actually made by an occult-loving one-time murder suspect Victor Sicarius; the other theories, however, are too bizarre to accept. In search of the truth behind LA RAGE DU DEMON, this wide-ranging documentary features accounts and opinions from historians, journalists and filmmakers like Alex Aja (HIGH TENSION) and Christophe Gans (SILENT HILL). Does a definitive answer await you, or will you, too, fall victim to LA RAGE DU DEMON’s powers?
Dir: Bob Pipe
All Paul (Johnny Galecki, THE BIG BANG THEORY) needs is a little away time to figure his life out, so he signs up for a spiritual retreat overseen by an oddball named Ken Roberts (Oliver Platt). Hoping to get over a recent heartbreak, Paul goes along with Ken’s strange routines, not the least insane of which have to do with a small army of cute yet destructive little monsters that would make those GREMLINS creatures blush. Going for black comedy with tinges of creature-feature playfulness, writer-director Bobby Miller makes his feature debut with this delightfully weird look at how people’s inner demons can get the best of them. Aided by a strong supporting cast, including Anna Friel (PUSHING DAISIES) and the great Angelica Huston, THE MASTER CLEANSE blurs the line between hilarity and repulsion with sharp precision.
Screening with short film Gwilliam
Fresh out of prison, an ex-con decides to get his rocks off in an unconventional way that would make GREMLINS’ Gizmo want to vomit.
Dominic Monaghan (THE LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy) plays Seth, an introverted and socially awkward animal shelter worker who randomly bumps into former schoolmate Holly (Ksenia Solo, ORPHAN BLACK), a beautiful and confident woman for whom Seth has always harbored a crush. But when his romantic advances are rejected, Seth takes matters into his own hands, kidnapping Holly and locking her up inside a cage hidden away in the shelter’s basement. If you think you already know where PET goes from there, you’re dead wrong. Once Holly is put inside those metal bars, Barcelona native Carles Torrens’ unpredictable psychological thriller upends expectations at every turn.
Obsessed with capturing a mythological mermaid, an old man suffers painful letdowns while fishing until, one day, he finally accomplishes the seemingly impossible. And then things get really bad.
Only 17 years old, France-born director Nathan Ambrosioni defies his teenage youthfulness with THERAPY, an inventive, fascinating and no-holds-barred combination of found-footage shocker and whodunit police procedural. After discovering a series of video recordings that show what appear to be brutal slayings by a masked killer, two detectives become obsessed with reviewing the footage in hopes of preventing further killings. But is there a far more sinister and elaborate plot at hand? Cutting back and forth between found-footage and traditional direction, Ambrosioni deftly balances visceral scares with mystery-box storytelling.
Owen (Adrien Grenier, ENTOURAGE) and Isabelle (Angela Trimbur, THE FINAL GIRLS) are in the most toxic kind of hate-love with one another. After Isabelle finds out she’s pregnant, she demands that they take a road trip to visit Owen’s only living relatives: his grandmother (Fionnula Flanagan) and severely burned sister (AnnaLynne McCord). Unfortunately for Angela, Owen’s family’s personal demons are ready to play. Coming off of the SCOOBY-DOO-esque SUBURBAN GOTHIC, singular writer-director Richard Bates, Jr. returns to the grimness of his critically acclaimed debut, EXCISION, with this darkly funny, bleak and unflinching horror-comedy.
There’s something bizarre and nightmarish waiting in the woods, and its sights are set on Eric (Alan McKenna), a land surveyor who’s tasked with assessing the woodland area in question just as his marriage is about to crumble. Stressed out by his fractured home life, Eric is tragically susceptible to the woods’ powerful ability to enter the emotionally wounded man’s mind and wreak both physical and mental havoc on him. Incorporating disorienting and inventive visual tricks to bring the film’s scenic forest to life, first-time Irish director Lorcan Finnegan taps into an effective psychological dread to create a psychedelic and one-of-a-kind descent into madness.
A married man thinks he’s found his missing wife inside a seedy roadside motel, but he’s wrong—horribly and deathly wrong.
NIGHTMARE FUEL: SCARY HORROR SHORTS
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