Review: Psychotic! A Brooklyn Slasher Film (Brooklyn Horror Film Festival)

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending the after party at the excellent Brooklyn Horror Film Festival. It was held at a bar called The Abbey in Williamsburg and upon entering I grabbed a beer and a shot and started to mingle. About two minutes in I ended up meeting and instantly hitting it off with two dudes, Derek Gibbons and Maxwell Frey. We immediately started discussing film and after a few more drinks I discovered they made their own film, called Psychotic!, and it was filmed in my hometown of Brooklyn. We agreed on a screener and an interview for the podcast and I was very excited to see what these two gentlemen put together. It is not often one meets two people who are genuine and enthusiastic about their project without being obnoxious and overbearing. At the same time, I was afraid because what if I didn’t like Psychotic!? That would be a shame, as I genuinely enjoyed hanging with these guys. After viewing the film, I’m very happy to report that their project is worth your time.

 

 

Psychotic! A Brooklyn Slasher Film is set in the Bushwick area of Brooklyn and viewers are introduced to the Party Slasher at a bash in the opening scene. The rest of the film deals with the neighborhood paranoia surrounding this slasher, as well as the misadventures of our two heroes, played by Derek and Maxwell, who also wrote and produced.

 

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I can without prejudice say that I really dug this film. The two leads are appealing and I was genuinely interested in their non-horror related issues and how they would work out. I would love to see these guys do a non-horror Brooklyn dramedy, incorporating the hipster bar culture and its dynamic. I think they would do a good job. The supporting players were also solid, most notably Kristen Martin, who had a very naturalistic style in her acting. As for the horror backdrop, it mostly worked. The practical effects looked convincing and the suspense was handled well throughout. The killings had an interesting retro 80’s slasher vibe about them, which I greatly appreciated. I especially liked the use of the double door buzz in which works to comedic effect in one scene and horrific effect in another. Gibbons and Frey handle all the dynamics of constantly searching but never really doing hipster aesthetic perfect— the horrible roommate you are kind of stuck with, but is a douche, but you don’t hate him or her, but you really need the rent money, and then casual drug and alcohol prompts him/her to start and play in a band that just sucks, and the other dudes in the band are half-talentless dicks who fight all the time about a bad song that no one should hear. Whewf!

 

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My only issues are minor. One, and this is a personal one because I’m a Brooklyn guy, being that this is called A Brooklyn Slasher Film, I wish there were more noticeable locations highlighted. Some Brooklyn landmarks could’ve been on display, especially the juxtaposition of the differing neighborhoods in comparison to Bushwick. The city could be utilized more for its diversity, exclusively because the hipster culture is spreading like wild fire in all neighborhoods. The other problem for me is the end is slightly rushed; I wanted a little more explanation and backstory. Aside from these minor quibbles and nitpicks, I highly recommend this film. Go out and show these filmmakers some love! From this full-length feature, I’m very much looking forward to their next project and wish them success in their future endeavors.

 

3.5 out of 5 Zombie Heads

3-and-a-half

 

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