"Brooklyn 45" delivers tension, outstanding performances and a claustrophobic horror experience.
Too often, smaller horror films drift silently under the radar with little fanfare and are quickly forgotten. I'm guilty of it myself. Seeing something that sounds like it could be exciting but deciding to check it out down the road and never getting around to it. Don't sleep on "Brooklyn 45." It's a film that's too good to be ignored or missed and one of my favorite films this year. It blends so many things together brilliantly, leaving your muscles aching from the tension.
I loved this film. The tension is crazy, the performances are outstanding, and writer/director Ted Geoghegan does a superb job keeping you captivated the entire time by exploring a theme everyone can relate to – demons from our past tapping us on the shoulder when we least expect it wanting to have a chat.
Set in a Brownstone parlor on Dec. 27, 1945, in Brooklyn (hence the film's title), the film is the tale of four childhood friends who've recently ended their military time after World War II and have come together to console one of their own in their time of need. Lt. Col. Clive Hockstatter (Larry Fessenden) is struggling not only with his time in the war but also with the recent death of his wife, Susan (Lucy Carapetyan).
Each of his friends Major Paul DiFranco (Ezra Buzzington), Major Archibald "Archie" Stanton (Jeremy Holm) and interrogator Marla Sheridan (Anne Ramsay), are still coming to terms with their roles in the war. Some have moved on, but some can't shake the specters of their past.
Unbeknownst to them, Hock has summoned his friends to a dinner party not only for their company but also for their energy. The festivities quickly take a turn when Hock asks the group to participate in an impromptu séance in an attempt to contact his wife, with more than one casting a skeptical glance his way.
A knocking from the closet door is a horror none of them expected and the catalyst that fuels betrayal among the four friends. It will eventually drive them to make confessions and commit acts that will alter their lives forever.
"Brooklyn 45" is a fantasy horror film that builds tension from its opening moment and never takes its foot off the gas. Having our characters confined, or more accurately, imprisoned in a single room gives the film a claustrophobic sense of doom that keeps breathing down your neck and never allows you to relax for a second. This is my favorite kind of horror story.
Don't get me wrong, it's not just psychological. If you love gore, there is a scene that is so unrelentingly disturbing I caught myself shifting in my seat multiple times. It's genuinely upsetting on many levels.
Geoghegan directs a fantastic cast that knocks it out of the park. Each character has a moment that turns your stomach or breaks your heart. The interplay between Buzzington and Holm is fantastic and gives both actors their moment to shine, and they don't disappoint. Fessenden portrayal of Hockstatter is both tragic and unsettling and needs to be seen.
Do not miss "Brooklyn 45," a film that combines superb acting, great storytelling, and an intriguing concept flawlessly brought to life by the writer/director Geoghegan.