Still from “Bathroom Troll,” one of the shorts in the Slayed! series at Brooklyn Horror Film Festival (image courtesy Brooklyn Horror Film Festival)

October is one terrifying month! It’s one of the few times of year that wearing masks and scaring the bejesus out of people is not just socially acceptable, but encouraged and enshrined with special date on the calendar. And the lead up to Halloween will bring plenty of terrifying events to the streets of New York, but one of the more exciting ones coming to Hyperallergic’s home turf is a showcase of film frights, scream queens, and other horror-movie tropes: Brooklyn Horror Film Festival 2019 — now celebrating its fourth year.

Brooklyn Horror Film Festival official poster (image courtesy Brooklyn Horror Film Festival)

The festival will screen dozens of feature films and shorts across a few Brooklyn theaters — the fledgling Nitehawk Cinema Prospect Park, the Kumble Theater on Downtown Brooklyn’s Long Island University campus, Cobble Hill Cinema, and Dumbo’s Made in NY Media Center by IFP — including works from nationally known and local filmmakers alike. The opening night night film of the festival is the North American premiere of The Beach House, directed by Jeffrey A. Brown. It’s also a chance to see the German Expressionist classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, directed by Robert Wiene. The festival’s returning Home Invasion shorts program showcases the work of local New York City genre film directors and is packed with more films than ever. Queer horror will also be prominently featured in the program, with Slayed!: LGBTQ Horror Shorts, a series comprised of seven short films, and the feature-length queer horror stories Spiral (directed by Kurtis David Harder) and Carmilla (directed by Emily Harris) in the program as well. Badges for the festival are sold out, but individual screening tickets start at $16 — about what you’d spend on a night at the movies anyway. Terror, it turns out, is affordable.

When: October 17–24, 2019 (screenings start at $16, with opening/closing night screenings priced at $18)
Where: Films will be screened at four theaters in Brooklyn: Nitehawk Cinema Prospect Park, LIU Kumble Theater, Cobble Hill Cinema, and IFP Made in NY Media Center (see the website for more information)

Eric Vilas-Boas is the former managing editor of Hyperallergic. He has previously worked at Thrillist, Esquire, SPIN,, and his writing has appeared at Vulture, Slashfilm, Lit Hub, Paste,...