Ghouls and goblins looking for a spooky night of mischief can put on their ghastliest garbs and head to the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, which will be returning in person on Oct. 14 for a week of terror and fear at Williamsburg’s Nitehawk Cinema.
This year’s festival, which runs until Oct. 21, will feature 14 features and six short blocks, giving Halloween-loving film buffs a chance to view the genre’s best — and this year, the event will put a spotlight New York City’s LGBTQ community with special focus and curation with previously-overlooked creators.
“Brooklyn Horror Film Festival is an experience”, says BHFF programmer Joseph Hernandez. “The films are a huge part of that, but there’s so much more to it. There’s the energy and excitement packed into a room and how it bounces from person to person during a screening.”
There’s also the experience of returning to in-person events like this one after some pandemic-related time off, Hernandez told Brooklyn Paper.
“There’s the joy of reunion between longtime friends and the random encounters that lead to lifelong friendships. It’s a gathering, a celebration — it’s tradition,” he said. “To be able to safely restore some of that shared experience is going to make this a truly special year.”
The mummies and gremlins behind this year’s Brooklyn Horror fest will also be collaborating with Boston Underground Film Festival, North Bend Film Festival, and Overlook Film Festival to host a virtual “Nightstream” event between Oct. 7 and Oct. 13, with more details to be announced soon.
One of the headlining films for this year’s Horror Film Festival is “Good Madam” — a 92-minute, South African feature by director Jenna Cato Bass. This will be the first time the film will be shown in New York City. Other films and shorts in the lineup come from countries such as France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Japan, the United States, Germany, Spain, and Taiwan.
“2021 represents a few firsts for our festival,” Hernandez said, adding that this is the first time the festival will premiere its very own Netflix original movie, with the chic vampire thriller “Night Teeth.”
“We’re also screening a 35mm print for the first time to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the modern horror classic ‘Session 9,’ to be followed by an exclusive pre-recorded Q&A,” the programmer added.
Due to New York City’s regulations, attendees will be required to show their IDs and proof of vaccination upon entry and they will be required to wear a mask throughout the shows. Staff will also conduct temperature checks for those entering.
Out of an abundance of caution, the event will not be serving drinks or food, and there also will not be any live events during the festival.
“It takes a lot of people to execute a film festival,” Hernandez said. “[There’s] festival staff, volunteers, venue managers, theater workers, press members, filmmakers, our dear festival attendees — some who’ve been with us since the first year! — and the list goes on.”
“We absolutely cannot wait to see all the faces, both familiar and new, who make up the spirit of Brooklyn Horror.”
Brooklyn Horror Film Festival [Nitehawk Williamsburg at 136 Metropolitan Ave. Williamsburg. www.Brooklynhorror.eventive.org] Thursday, Oct. 14 to Thursday, Oct. 21.