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 Brooklyn Horror Film Festival Poster

Brooklyn Horror Film Festival: Nightmare Fuel Shorts


On Saturday, October 15th, the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival opened with a series of shorts from up and coming directors, with film subjects ranging from eating disorders, familial strife, to even goblins. Plus John Carpenter.

The Puppet Man Cover2.5 Stars

The Puppet Man

Director: Jacqueline Castel
Cast: Chrystal Renn, Johnny Scuotto, Bradley Bailey and John Carpenter

Beautifully shot with indulgent color, Jacqueline Castel's short film is so reminiscent of a John Carpenter classic, it actually features John Carpenter. Castel admits it was put together over a whirlwind week, which could explain why it's more atmospheric than plot-oriented. The actors never quite recover from not knowing what they should be doing, but that classic Halloween-esque score is too catchy to not give it a watch.

Pigskin CoverFivestars


Director: Jake Hammond
Cast: Isadora Leiva

Who thought 13 minutes would be enough to tell a complete, emotionally devastating horror story? Solidly rooted in the lead's eating disorder, that awful monster after her is obviously coming from her mental illness...so why do I keep looking over my shoulder to see if it's following me? Paired with a catchy indie-pop soundtrack, this is a shoe-in for festival awards.

Playback Cover2.5 Stars


Director: Nathan Crooker
Cast: Corey Rutledge, Tristan Chase, Heather Driscoll

Director Nathan Crooker originally made Playback for a one-take filmmaking competition; so the four minutes you see is the final result of seven hours of Go Pro setup and frantic real-time editing to get the CCTV playback accurate. Eli Roth liked Playback so much that Crooker is in talks to develop an episodic series.

Tilly Cover3 stars


Director: Robert Kotecki
Cast: Brian Kimmet, Allison Sharpe

Writer/director Robert Kotecki said he was inspired to tell the story of a man failing at marriage due to his own recent nuptials, but promises his wife not only loved the script but is incredibly supportive. And lead actor Brian Kimmet was a shoe-in for the role of desperate father having only become a father six months prior. The perfect pairing led to an achingly sad and disturbing short that twists reality.

The Sticks Cover4 Stars

The Sticks

Director: Jamie Delaney, Russel Davidson
Cast: Poppy Corby-Tuech, Conall Keating, Larragh McCann

I'm the first to say "getting lost in the woods" has been done to death; abandoned in nature is one of my personal favorite subgenres. But it's done so practically in The Sticks that it's unquestionably possible. Short and sweet, this is a film I would love to see expanded.

The Home2.5 Stars

The Home

Director: L. Gustavo Cooper
Cast: Alex Essoe, Andy Mcphee

I need to know the legend this is based on. Something horrible is after the unwed mothers who call a cot in the narthex a church their home. This short doesn't quite connect the audience with the emotions of the women, so it's never as frightening as it should be, but a longer run time and a reason to care about the lead will make The Home very effective.

The Stylist Cover3 stars

The Stylist

Director: Jill Gevargizian
Cast: Najarra Townsend

The only short to employ a good gross-out gag, The Stylist isn't all about blood and scissors. There's a reason Claire (Najarra Townsend) is doing what she's doing, even if we never find out why I believe her acting. She's better than a few clumsy, overly expositive lines thrown in, but I hear this is already being developed for a full-length, so there's another chance to get this film to just right.

Even if some of their submissions were unpolished, these filmmakers show promise and potential to put some truly terrifying movies in our future.

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About The Author
Karin Crighton
Staff Writer | Lunatic
Karin doesn't know anything about movies, but has a lot of time and opinions to yell into the void. When she's not directing plays in and around NYC, she's watching every horror movie on every streaming service. And probably talking to a cat.
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