Of course October means Halloween is right around the corner. So what better time for a horror film festival than just as spooky season is getting in to full swing. Today we’re taking a look at the lineup for the 2021 Brooklyn Horror Film Festival which runs from October 14-21.
Sreenings for the 2021 festival will take place in North Brooklyn at Nitehawk Cinema Williamsburg, Williamsburg Cinemas, and Stuart Cinema. With a line-up of 14 features and 6 short blocks, including premieres from around the world and our signature focus on New York-made horror and LGBTQ+ curation. In addition to the in-person film festival, Brooklyn Horror will once again collaborate with the Boston Underground Film Festival, North Bend Film Festival and Overlook Film Festival for the virtual-only event NIGHTSTREAM, taking place October 7-13, 2021, with program announcements to come shortly.
On the heels of their world premieres at TIFF, BHFF 2021 will open with the sensational South African chiller GOOD MADAM (MLUNGU WAM) and honor celebrated French filmmaker Lucile Hadžihalilović’s latest, EARWIG, as centerpiece film. The closing night film of Brooklyn Horror will be Rob Jabbaz’s abrasive and acclaimed Taiwanese zombie horror THE SADNESS, an instant breakout on the festival circuit and an award-winning feature debut for Jabbaz.
This year’s co-presentation with New York queer film festival NewFest include Slayed, our annual showcase of LGBTQ+ short films, as well as the U.S Premiere of Edoardo Vitaletti’s impressive queer horror-drama feature debut THE LAST THING MARY SAW. The festival will host two exciting World Premieres in its sixth edition; Alfonso Cortés-Cavanillas’ COVID-set psychological doppelganger cyber thriller EGO, and Adam Randall’s Netflix Original vampire action thriller NIGHT TEETH, featuring Megan Fox and Euphoria’s Sydney Sweeney. Continuing Brooklyn Horror’s celebration of local voices in filmmaking, the festival will feature two blocks of our celebrated HOME INVASION shorts from NYC filmmakers, in addition to feature film WHEN I CONSUME YOU, the latest from Brooklyn-based director Perry Blackshear, screening in the festival’s main competition.
You can check out the full schedule right here, highlights of the festival include:
OPENING NIGHT FILM
GOOD MADAM (MLUNGU WAM)
South Africa | 2021 | 92 Min. | Dir. Jenna Cato Bass
Tsidi, a single mother grieving over her beloved grandmother’s death, moves back into her childhood home in the well-off suburbs of Cape Town with her young daughter. It’s there where her estranged mother still lives, working diligently as the caretaker for her white, bedridden “Madam,” Diane. Tensions mount as Tsidi becomes increasingly critical of her mother’s unwavering obedience towards Madam and odd happenings begin to emanate around the house, at first mere changes in everyone’s personalities but gradually evolving into supernatural dangers. Keeping horror’s tradition as film’s great social commentary genre alive, Jenna Cato Bass examines the lingering pains and nightmares of South Africa’s apartheid through a psychological horror lens, and the results are excellent.
United Kingdom, France, Belgium | 2021 | 114 Min. | Dir. Lucile Hadžihalilović
The 20th century. Somewhere, Europe. Inside a darkly lit apartment, a man tends to a seemingly normal 10-year-old girl with ice cubes for teeth. Told that his boarding of the girl is over, he’s ordered to bring her to a new location, but along the way they encounter a woman with an ax to grind. That’s where any plot synopsis for Lucile Hadžihalilović’s beguiling, ornate and wholly unclassifiable film should end—part of its charm is sheer unpredictability. The one easily understood element, though, is that, like her previous films (Innocence, Evolution), Earwig provides the kind of stunning unease that only Hadžihalilović can deliver.
CLOSING NIGHT FILM
East Coast Premiere
Taiwan | 2021 | 99 Min. | Dir. Rob Jabbaz
In eerily prescient pandemic time Taiwan, the Alvin Virus is seemingly in retreat when it suddenly mutates and explodes. As the infected become depraved lunatics, acting out their sickest and most violent desires, a young couple caught in the infernal crossfire are hurtled into an unimaginable fight for survival. With The Sadness, director Rob Jabbaz takes a blood-and-puss-filled syringe to the zombie genre, injecting it with relentless visions of murderous carnage and sexual savagery. You’ve been warned.
Grab your tickets for the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival right here.