DIRECTED BY: KEOLA RACELA
The premise of Porno is awesome. A group of older teens and college kids that work at a small town movie theater discover an old movie print that happens to be a satanic porno. Although the title makes the movie seem like it should be more raunchy, director Keola Racela is not afraid to gross us out. I was expecting a take on a film like The Ring, but Porno is happier with keeping the cast locked in the theater and seeing who survives. Jillian Mueller plays Chaz, saddled with being the night manager of the theater, along with a cast that fits perfectly into roles of nerds that love to see any kind of boobs, a deadbeat projectionist named Heavy Metal Jeff, and the super religious manager with a secret to hide in Mr. Pike. It makes for a delightful riff on making a haunted house be a haunted movie theater instead.
MOVIE: THIS IS OUR HOME
DIRECTED BY: OMRI DORANI
This is Our Home is undoubtedly an independent film in the truest of forms, a movie involving 3 characters, a creepy setting, and not much more. That might seem to be bare bones, but director Omri Dorani clearly has a smart mind, making a movie that feels both haunting and disturbing. For those that are fans of Jonathan Glazer's Birth, you will undoubtedly notice the similarities here, but there is much to be said for the more twisted side that This is Our Home takes. This is about a couple that loses a child at birth and then one day an older child mysteriously shows up on their doorstep, claiming to be their son. This is not just about a mother (Simone Policano) and son or a creepy child in The Omen type of thriller. It is the deconstruction of a loving relationship and how traumas can create a constant divide, no matter who is to blame. The lead performance from Simone Policano is strong and I hope this leads to more work for her.
DIRECTED BY: DAVID MARMOR
By far my favorite movie at the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival has to be 1BR. It's a combination of cult brainwashing, painful torture, and intense survival. Nicole Brydon Bloom gives a stellar performance as Sarah, a woman that has run off to live in California after her mother died from cancer. It was her escape from her father that cheated on her mother and a way for Sarah to have a new start. When she finds a cozy one-bedroom apartment at a cheery complex, Sarah starts to feel like she has found a new home. That is, till she starts to notice that the other tenants are way too happy for anyone, and eventually discovers that the entire complex is a twisted cult, using torture to convert their guests into living among the community. Director David Marmor plays it perfectly, with a collective cast of character actors, each one being more brainwashed than the next, and creating a sense of dread for Sarah to ever get out alive. 1BR will have you constantly on the edge of your seat. It's a horror film that isolates the audience from the real world, creating a setting that feels like an attempt at a utopia, but behind the scenes it is more like a prison.
The tail end of the 2019 horror movie season does not go without a boom. We had Cinepocalypse and Fantastic Fest, but now we make our way to the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, a fest that I have yet to be disappointed in. Sometimes you can judge a film festival by how good the movies are- obviously that is important- but there are other times where a festival can just make you feel at home. That's how I feel covering this festival, which starts Thursday October 17th and ends on the 24th. It's not just because I am covering the festival remotely or blowing smoke to appease my audience. The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival is knocking it out of the park in just the 4th year of existence. You get the full experience of movies at all times, with crowds that love the genre, and artists that deserve the attention. So what is in store this year? Surprisingly, a lot! This might be one of my favorite years at Brooklyn, because it's a mixture of new stories that also happen to be made by independent filmmakers, all worthy of our praise. Here is AMovieGuy.com's preview of the movies to see at the 4th Brooklyn Horror Film Festival:
DIRECTED BY: JORDAN GRAHAM
I am going to promote the hell out of Jordan Graham's Sator because he deserves it. This is an incredibly scary movie, shot in black & white, and the entire project is Jordan Graham's baby. It took the director six years to complete and not because he was lacking in ability, but because he put his heart and soul into all of it. Graham was the director, writer, editor, cinematographer, production designer, sound mixer, you name it. All of it but the acting, which also happens to include Graham's own grandmother in the supporting part, and is shot in a log cabin that, yes, Graham built himself. A young man heads into the woods to find seclusion from his family and past, only to realize that Sator, an entity that Grandma says protects the woods, is following him closely. It just might drive him to madness or it will scar the crap out of you. Sator is independent filmmaking to the highest level and Graham is going to be something to watch for.