Monthly Archives October 2019

Brooklyn Horror Film Fest: THE YELLOW NIGHT has potential, but never quite reaches it

Director Ramon Porto Mota’s film, The Yellow Night, had its North American premiere at Brooklyn Horror Fest, and I’m really curious to see what the discussion is, once more people see it. The Brazilian film’s only had a couple of festival screenings thus far, and it seems like there’s a lot to unpack around it. “A group of teenagers arrive in the middle of the night to a desolate Brazilian seaside town. High school has just ended and they are ready to party in style, but cell service sucks and, as the days progress, things get very weird. Is time
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Cine-Ween: THE VILLAIN OF A THOUSAND MASKS

In early 1946, the town of Texarkana, Texas, was terrorized by a series of violent assaults and murders. Young couples parked at secluded lanes were accosted by a pistol-wielding figure – the first couple survived and escaped; the second and third were brutally executed. Town stores sold out of guns and ammunition. Doors were locked at night. Hot-blooded young vigilantes would pose as parking lovers in the hopes of luring the killer in for execution. The crimes were dubbed “The Texarkana Moonlight Murders” – one of the first serial killing sprees to capture the attention of the American mass media.
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Brooklyn Horror Film Fest: Phil ‘C.M. Punk’ Brooks talks his feature debut, GIRL ON THE THIRD FLOOR

Phil “CM Punk” Brooks is no stranger to acting, having been a professional wrestler for a decade and a half. He worked his way from indie Ring of Honor to the WWE minor leagues of Ohio Valley Wrestling, and ultimately became the WWE Champion. Anyone who ever watched him cut a promo knows that Brooks could create a character which effectively wrung emotions from the viewing public. What Brooks hasn’t done is play a character created by someone else, however. That changes with the release of Travis Stevens’ Girl on the Third Floor. It’s fitting that the athlete’s feature-length debut
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Brooklyn Horror Film Fest: KOKO-DI KOKO-DA is an experience unto itself

The Swedish / Danish film, Koko-Di Koko-Da, directed by Johannes Nyholm, and which screened yesterday at Brooklyn Horror Fest, is an entry into one of my favorite aspects of horror as of late: the movie which plays not so much with place or characters, but with how time can affect one’s perception of events: “In the wake of tragedy, married Elin and Tobias head out on the open road for a camping trip. But along the way, a group of homicidal deviants, propelled by the sounds of an ominous children’s song, disrupt their commute again and again—and again and again.
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Brooklyn Horror Film Festival: THE SWERVE Is A Haunting And Beautiful Examination Of Mental Illness

In the past few years, the phrase “psychological horror” has been getting thrown around a lot, with critics applying to films like It Follows, Get Out, The Witch, and even It. Most of the time it seems to be something of a catch-all for a horror film that operates outside the box; and people unfamiliar with the genre cannot comprehend a horror film doing so, thus they fall back on calling it “psychological horror” because it sounds fancy. But rarely does a horror film that is referred to as such actually rely on psychology to generate the feeling of horror,
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Brooklyn Horror Film fest: PORNO Nails the ‘Film Within a Film’ Genre

Director Keola Racela’s feature debut, Porno, grabbed me pretty much instantly with the plot summary on the Brooklyn Horror Fest site: “For a staff of Christian teenage theater workers in 1992, their Friday night crew screening options are between A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN, ENCINO MAN or a mysterious old film reel they found in the basement. After convincing their projectionist Heavy Metal Jeff to load up the mystery film, the teens are entranced by a ritualistic erotic art film, mistakenly unleashing a sex demon in the process. They’ll have to keep their raging hormones in check as they battle
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Cine-Ween: “HAROLD…THEY’RE VAMPIRES”

I recently began revisiting the Universal horror classics, as many do around Halloween. However, rather than watching Tod Browning’s Dracula from 1931 for the hundredth time, I decided to watch 1936’s Dracula’s Daughter. I hadn’t seen it before, but it didn’t take long for me to understand why it was notable in its context as a female-led horror film. In her titular role as Dracula’s daughter, Countess Marya Zaleska acts as our villain. Unlike her father, she struggles internally with her identity as a vampire. One the one hand, she must indulge her need to find prey. On the other
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Cine-Ween: The Twin Seductions of Romance and Horror

The door that creaks; the echoing footfall. A chiming grandfather clock in the hall. It’s the root of so many horror books and films that we rarely give attention to it:  The house, the home, the center of a woman’s life for thousands and thousands of years. When one begins to tackle the tropes of what I think of as “domestic horror”– specifically, a woman being both physically and psychologically harmed, at home, by a partner or entity– it’s the home and family setting that makes the story all the more threatening.  It has left me to wonder: on the
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CINE-WEEN: “What’s The Most Terrifying Thing You’ve Seen in a Movie?”

Fear. It’s what drives the horror genre. It’s what vicious killers feed off of in horror movies. It’s what gets your adrenaline up when you’re watching something truly frightening, ideally at night with the lights off. For the Halloween season, the spookiest time of the year, I asked various makers and shakers this question: What is the most terrifying thing you’ve ever seen in a film? For me, there’s a long list. I was obsessed with horror films as a kid, but was also a giant crybaby who scared pretty easily. My dad would consistently terrorize me with his impressions
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