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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

NIGHTSTREAM REVIEW: BROOKLYN HORROR FILM FESTIVAL SHORTS

 


Each of the 5 film festivals that make up the Nightstream Virtual Film Festival submitted blocks of short films that were supposed to be shown at their festivals. Here, I've selected several films from the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, and posted a brief review of each film. I definitely recommend you check out these films at the festival, or if you catch these films individually in the future.


Killing Small Animals

Directed by: Marcus Svanberg


A woman floating through life without much purpose kills a butterfly. She loves the feeling.


This is a short horror film that moves at its own pace, and might not go over well with animal lovers. The movie does exactly what the title says, and there isn’t anything pretty about it. This young woman kills a butterfly, and it’s all down hill from there. She as the urge to kill another animal, and then another. The animals get slightly bigger each time with a surprise waiting at the end. Overall, this is a brutal film, but there’s something about this woman that will have the audience just glued to her. She’s just so cold, and it’s like watching a serial killer in the making.


Boy Eats Girl: A Zombie Love Story

Directed by: Sarah Gurfield


It’s your classic romantic comedy meet-cute setup: Undead boy meets undead girl while they’re feasting on a corpse’s innards. Sparks fly. Magic happens.


The film opens with a boy and girl zombie chasing down a young woman for a snack. They eventually catch her, and the feast begins. At first they’re fighting over the food, but soon enough the food brings them together. Kind of still playing the typical human boy and girl roles, the girl wonders off after their romantic time together, and the boy wakes up later and goes searching for her. The true laughs start when they are reunited again. Overall, this might not be what you expect from zombies, but is a clever spin on relationship drama. It manages some blood and guts to start, and concludes with a hilarious ending. 


Going Steady

Directed by: Brydie O’Connor


In scenic 1950s Kansas, a discontent young woman daydreams about the love she wishes she had.


As a young woman waits for her boyfriend to come over, she listens to the radio and can’t help but get some thoughts going in her head. The boyfriend gets there, and mentions something to her that takes her into a daydream. A daydream that starts deadly, but then is pretty humorous. She makes a few changes with her boyfriend, and then proceeds to wheel him around town. Overall, it’s nice to see a film set in a much different decade, and use the setting to its advantage. It creates several funny moments, especially bringing new meaning to a drive-in, before taking things back to reality.


Shut Eye

Directed by: Robert Gregson


Self-medicating at a rental property, a recovering addict’s attempts at sleep are consistently interrupted by disturbing apparitions. 


At first the audience might think this woman is just looking for some time alone, but there’s a little more going on. She’s apparently struggling through rehab, and is just looking for a good nights sleep. The guy taking care of the home she’s renting thinks he’s helping by giving her drugs, but he’s not. However, when she lays down to try to sleep, she ends up with much bigger problems. Overall, on the surface this might not seem like a horror movie, but that definitely changes once she tries to sleep. The few scares created by whatever it is that’s  haunting her makes this short film well worth the watch.


Mr. Thisforthat

Directed by: Thomas Mendolia


This titular monster is just waiting for feature-length expansion: a demon that grants wishes to a little girl dealing with hate-filled parents, but at a cost.


This film is really going to make the audience feel sorry for this little girl. All she wants is for her daddy to come back, and to have a nice normal family. Well being a little girl there’s not much she can do, or is there? She finds a strange  monster in her room that’s just waiting to take advantage of her situation. It knows she has desires, and tells her he can grant wishes, but they will come at a cost. The girl starts asking for wishes that only make matters worse. Overall, this is a sad story, but also one with an interesting monster. It’s mysterious, creepy, and it’s consistent at making people for pay for their wish.

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