By MICHAEL GINGOLD
The final lineup has been revealed for this year’s edition of the top New York City fear-film showcase, and we’ve got the details and photos.
The 2022 Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, presented by Shudder, takes place October 13-20 at the Nitehawk Cinema Williamsburg and Williamsburg Cinemas, and includes a Fear in Focus: French Extremity retrospective series. Joining the first round of announced movies (see ’em here) are the following features:
Centerpiece Film; East Coast Premiere
Canada/France, 2022; 99 Min.; Dir. Charlotte Le Bon
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.
IRREVERSIBLE: STRAIGHT CUT (pictured above)
Closing Night Film; U.S. Premiere
France, 2002; 97 Min.; Dir. Gaspar Noé
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 bloodlusting 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.
East Coast Premiere
USA, 2022; 95 Min.; Dir. Corey Deshon
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.
East Coast Premiere
Mexico, 2022; 100 Min; Dir. Isaac Ezban
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.
East Coast Premiere
Italy, 2022; 93 Min; Dir. Paolo Strippoli
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.
GIVE ME AN A
Special Event Screening
USA, 2022; 90 Min; Dir. Natasha Halevi, Meg Swertlow, Bonnie Discepolo, Danin Jacquay, Annie Bond, Sarah Kopkin, Monica Moore-Suryiage, Caitlin Hargraves, Megan Rosati, Hannah Alline, Avital Ash, Mary C. Russell, Valerie Finkel, Kelly Nygaard, Loren Escandon, Francesca Maldonado
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.)
USA, 2022; 92 Min; Dir. Kurtis David Harder
Despite what she tells her loyal followers on IG, social media influencer Madison is having a lonely and disappointingly uneventful visit to 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?
East Coast Premiere
Norway, 2022; 99 Min.; Dir. Kjersti Helen Rasmussen
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.
Free Advance Screening, September 26
USA, 2022; 115 Min; Dir. Parker Finn
After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) starts experiencing frightening occurrences that she can’t explain. As an overwhelming terror begins taking over her life, Rose must confront her troubling past in order to survive and escape her horrifying new reality.
World Premiere; Free Screening Presented by Tubi
USA/Canada, 2022; 91 Min; Dir. Philippe Gagnon
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.
YEAR OF THE SHARK
East Coast Premiere
France, 2022; 84 Min; Dir. Ludovic Boukherma, Zoran Boukherma
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.
In the Head Trip lineup:
ALL JACKED UP AND FULL OF WORMS
New York Premiere
USA, 2022; 72 Min.; Dir. Alex Phillips
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.
USA, 2022; 106 Min.; Dir. Mali Elfman
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.
New York Premiere
Canada, 2022; 86 Min.; Dir. Nyla Innuksuk
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 shapeshifting 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.
THE WEIRD KIDZ
USA, 2022; 80 Min; Dir. Zach Passero
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.
In the Slayed: LGBTQ+ Horror Films lineup:
Mexico/Peru, 2022; 93 Min.; Dir. Michelle Garza Cervera
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
New York Premiere
USA, 2022; 102 Mins.; Dir. Kyra Gardner
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 ’80s. 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.
Screening in conjunction with IT CAME FROM THE CLOSET book launch event
France; 1989; 99 Min.; Dir. Brian Yuzna
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.
USA, 2022; 92 Min; Dir. Carter Smith
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).
In the Fear in Focus: French Extremity lineup:
France, 2001; 77 Min; Dir. Virginie Despentes, Coralie Trinh Thi
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 (HD Remaster)
Belgium/France/Luxembourg, 2004; 88 Min; Dir. Fabrice Du Welz
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.
France, 2001; 86 Min; Dir. Catherine Breillat
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.
France; 1999; 96 Min; Dir. François Ozon
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.
In the Home Invasion lineup:
New York Premiere
USA, 2022; 89 Min.; Dir. Thomas Matthews
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.
There will also be a screening of the original Lon Chaney PHANTOM OF THE OPERA with a live score by The Flushing Remonstrance (the duo of Catherine Cramer and Robert Kennedy), several short-film programs and more. Festival badges are now on sale here, with individual tickets on sale this Friday at noon EST. The complete schedule can be seen here, and you can visit the festival’s official website here.