The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival added five more features to the 2018 lineup, including the North American Premiere of Paulo Leite’s supernatural thriller INNER GHOSTS and Danishka Esterhazy’s dystopian women-led satire LEVEL 16. The 2018 Brooklyn Horror Fest runs October 11th to 18th with events and screenings at Nitehawk Cinema, Syndicated, LIU Kumble Theatre, Videology, Wythe Hotel Cinema and IFP’s Made in NY Media Center.
INNER GHOSTS (North American Premiere)
Brazil/Portugal | 2018 | 89 Min | Dir. Paulo Leite
To call Dr. Helen’s research “revolutionary” would be one hell of an understatement. Hoping to find a cure for brain diseases, Helen has developed a theory that such ailments can be treated by testing on ghosts, all of whom, of course, don’t need brain functions in order to act. As Helen sees it, if she can tap into how ghosts do that, she can figure out a way to get brain disease patients to communicate through their souls. Lofty, indeed. But after Helen’s young daughter dies suddenly, she puts her research on hold, refusing to connect to the afterlife anymore. Before long, a stranger’s request sends Helen back to the spirit world; as it turns out, though, something evil has been waiting there for her.
Fans of INSIDIOUS, take note: INNER GHOSTS delivers the same kinds of supernaturally charged goods. Writer-director Paulo Leite’s impressive debut fuses heavy science with a Lin-Shaye-like hero, nightmarish demons, otherworldly twists and a third act that’s as relentlessly assaultive as it is audaciously off-the-wall.
LEVEL 16 (East Coast Premiere)
Canada | 2018 | 102 Min | Dir. Danishka Esterhazy
Co-Presented by The Future of Film is Female
Having spent their entire lives trapped in a prison-like school, the teenage girls of Vestalis Academy must follow a strict educational system that enforces conforming to “The Feminine Virtues.” They are forced to follow the school’s rules for fear of extreme punishment – with the light at the end of the tunnel being adoption to a loving upper class family. Sixteen-year-olds Vivien and Sophia, who have reached the final level of the school are on the cusp of adoption, until they learn the horrifying truth about the academy.
Canadian filmmaker Danishka Esterhazy crafts a cold female-centric satire featuring striking imagery of a dystopian society. Loaded with charismatic performances, LEVEL 16 is an intense and cerebral experience like no other. Sure to get under your skin by the finale, Esterhazy will take you on a journey through the past, complete with characters named after classic Hollywood stars to express a sharp, feminist critique.
The Night Shifter
Brazil | 2018 | 110 Min | Dir. Dennison Ramalho
You know that old expression, “Dead men tell no tales”? Well, don’t tell that to Stênio, a well-meaning family-man whose life is, prior to understanding the falsehood of that old expression, a mess. His wife can’t stop reminding him that their situation is dire thanks to financial stresses and general marital discord; even worse, when he’s working as a mortician, mean-spirited paramedics make it their second job to routinely make fun of Stênio. Weirdly enough, his reprieve comes from the corpses he works on, all of whom can communicate with him. But when one specific stiff reveals a big secret, Stênio finds himself, as well as his family, under attack, turning his world into a living hell courtesy of the undead.
Blending dark humor with visceral scares and buckets of gore, Brazilian filmmaker Dennison Ramalho (“J is for Jesus” in ABCS OF DEATH 2) makes his feature debut with the kind of full-throttle horror film that’s directly engineered for a thrill-seeking festival audience. No-holds-barred in its hardcore nature, THE NIGHT SHIFTER goes all out in its depiction of one man’s inner rage being exposed by the should-be deceased.
TENANTS (New York Premiere)
Mexico | 2018 | 88 Min | Dir. Chava Cartas
Picking up the pieces after a traumatic event, Luzma and Demián move into a new apartment complex. Before they’re even unpacked, strange interactions with the secretive landlord and a disturbed handyman quickly put a dash on the young couple’s hopes for a fresh start. To make matters worse, Luzma begins to suffer from terrible hallucinations and Demián seems less and less himself. There’s something truly wrong with this apartment.
Mixing traditional haunted house tropes with region specific mythology to great effect, TENANTS explores the dark extremes of local religious practices of Santería and Brujería witchcraft. Part ROSEMARY’S BABY with a little AMITYVILLE HORROR, Mexican director Chava Cartas first foray into horror carves out a space in religious horror all its own.
India | 2018 | 109 Min | Dir. Rahi Anil Barve, Adesh Prasad
Throughout his young life, Vinayak has heard the legend surrounding his family’s home: There’s a demon guarding his family’s treasure and he best not challenge it. But when his great-grandmother dies, Vinayak inherits both the fortune and the creature protecting it. Fast-forward to adult Vinayak and his ingenious idea: Slowly but surely, he’ll sneak pieces of the treasure out by tricking the demon in various way, a plan he’s carried out successfully for years. That is, until his greedy family inadvertently angers the demon. Once that happens, all bets are off.
TUMBBAD is not only a truly scary-as-hell horror film, but it’s an ambitious blend of historical drama, supernatural creativity, creature feature insanity and character-driven tension.