The end is nigh, NYC horror fans. On the weekend of Oct. 14-16, Brooklyn will play home to an East Coast line-up of ghoulish goodness set to wreak havoc upon the city that never sleeps – and now, it’ll have one more damn good reason not to.
The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival‘s wicked programming wizards have scheduled 13 unique premieres (two World Premieres/five US Premieres) primed to drench numerous venues in a nightmarish haze of unspeakable terrors and extra-curricular creepiness (they may or may not also be soaked in booze). Features, shorts, live events, local spotlights – BHFF aims to make their first incarnation a memorable one.
Paying homage to NYC’s unintentional mascot of late, the official poster for 2016’s Brooklyn Horror Film Festival features none other than a possessed-lookin’ Pizza Rat (showcased below)! We’re also proud to announce the updated, FULL roster of judges who will be digesting BHFF’s October harvest of scares.
Myself, Shudder Curator Sam Zimmerman and Film Comment’s Laura Kern will officially be handling Feature duties, while Arrow In The Head/JoBlo’s Eric Walkuski, Producer Jenn Wexler and Director Erlingur Óttar Thoroddsen will dissect the Shorts program.
Plus, you can witness horror-loving journalists Perri Nemiroff (Collider), Max Evry (Shock Till You Drop), and Michael Gingold join Mr. Walkuski in an interactive drinking-game event where their sharp wits can spell victory or doom for onlooking audience members, dubbed – appropriately – Critical Drinking.
Other additives include a “live spoken word event” featuring storyteller Grady Hendrix, ‘Apparition: A Popup Art Show’ and a storytelling competition sponsored by Boroughs Of The Dead. More than movies, Brooklyn Horror Film Festival’s “Stage Frights” block is all about live experiences for audiences craving a bit more than moving pictures on a screen…
But you want me to shut up and reveal the movies now, and I don’t blame you. Without further stall-tactics, here you have it – Brooklyn Horror Film Festival’s killer 2016 line-up of prized genre ponies.
Opening this year’s inaugural Brooklyn Horror Film Festival is the East Coast premiere of Mattie Do’s Dearest Sister. Do is currently Laos’ only horror director, but even more impressive is that Dearest Sister comes as only the thirteenth feature film to be produced is Laos’ cinematic history. This year’s BHFF opener honors a market that wasted absolutely no time embracing a sometimes stigmatic horror genre, which you can catch at the Wythe Hotel Screening Room on October 14th. Get there early to experience an original live musical score by Johnny Butler and Dani Marie accompanying the world premiere of their Dario Argento-inspired music video (directed by Richard Bates).
In the following days, audiences can choose from a plethora of spectrum-spanning genre films that range from seedy horrifiers to out-there, what-the-f*#k mindbenders that will undoubtedly leave jaws agape. Look for BHFF’s Centerpiece program – Emiliano Rocha Minter’s We Are The Flesh – to do more than raise some eyebrows (like how I was left speechless after catching a screening at this year’s Fantasia Festival). We’re talking “HOLY CRAP” with a capital “WTF,” as the lines of ambition and artistry are blurred like only an unrelenting genre film can accomplish.
Other festival travelers like Richard Bates Jr.’s Trash Fire, Jackson Stewart’s Beyond The Gates and Carles Torrens’ Pet excitedly bring their early buzz to NYC’s favorite hipster borough. In these three titles alone, you can look forward to catching stars like Adrian Grenier, Barbara Crampton, and Dominic Monaghan – and that’s before mentioning that Bobby Miller’s The Master Cleanse features Rings star (and Big Bang Theory favorite) Johnny Galecki. Good to see some bigger names included in a first-time festival’s inaugural slate.
The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival isn’t just about US-based horror, though. French documentary Fury Of The Demon explores the mystery behind Georges Melies’ La Rage Du Demon, Nathan Ambrosioni’s Therapy is a French found-footage hybrid, and Ireland’s Lorcan Finnegan has shipped over his ambiguously titled psychological thriller Without Name. Close neighbor Canada also gets a shout-out with Cody Calahan’s Let Her Out, while UK import Broken hops across the pond for a bit of horror fun. This year’s BHFF has shaped into a bonafide meeting of the nations, except with way more blood and guts (I think?).
On closing night, Shorts judge Erlingur Óttar Thoroddsen will be on-hand for the World Premiere of his debut feature film, Child Eater (produced by Collider’s Perri Nemiroff). Based on his conceptual short film that I raved about during one of my first festival experiences (that also slayed SXSW), Child Eater sets out to unleash a brand new urban legend upon Bushwick’s Syndicated Bar + Theater + Kitchen. The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival looks to go out with a bang by scheduling a never-before-seen title in its final slot, with awards to be handed out during the closing-night party also located at Syndicated’s hip cinephile restaurant/theater/bar/must-visit destination.
Rounding out the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival’s tantalizing genre menu is their “Brooklyn Showcase,” featuring the World Premiere of Psychotic! A Brooklyn Slasher, and an honorary screening of Michael Winner’s The Sentinel. It’s an old-school meets new-school billing meant to introduce traveling visitors to the charms of Brooklyn’s uniquely eclectic vibe, paying homage to the newest (and most invigorating) home of East Coast horror festivities. Badges have already been available for purchase (badge holders can preselect this week) and tickets will be on sale shortly (starting 9/13), so don’t miss out on the beginning of something special for horror fans this Halloween season. My calendar is marked and I’m crossing off the days – hope you’ll be sharing some shrieks with me Oct. 14-16 at the VERY FIRST Brooklyn Horror Film Festival!
For a full breakdown of all events, screenings and details, check out the official press release on the next page…