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Celebrate Friday the 13th at Brooklyn Horror Film Festival this weekend

October 6, 2017 By Scott Enman Brooklyn Daily Eagle
A scene from "Game of Death," which will be shown at this year’s Brooklyn Horror Film Festival. Photos courtesy of Brooklyn Horror Film Festival
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It’s not often that Friday the 13th falls in October.

In fact, the last time that date occurred was in 2006, and it won’t happen again until 2023.

Friday the 13th has gained significance following the success of the American horror franchise consisting of 12 slasher films by the same name.

And while Halloween may not be for another three weeks, Brooklynites seeking thrills and chills can celebrate the eerie day at the second-annual Brooklyn Horror Festival.

The independent film event will showcase more than 50 gruesome flicks over the course of this weekend, with 21 features, five retro movies and 27 shorts.

“This year, we took big leaps forward: more North American premieres, more U.S. premieres. We discovered some really exciting movies that hadn’t been on people’s radars,” Head Programmer of the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival Matt Barone told the Brooklyn Eagle.

“We stepped the programming up infinitely from the films to the events to the bigger venues,” he continued. “I feel like this is our coming-of-age year. Last year was kind of a gamble to see what we can do, to see if this can work, to see if there’s an audience that cares about it. We were proven right on all those aspects.”

The festival is set to kick off on Thursday night at the Alamo Draft House with the North American Premiere of “Housewife.” Director Can Evrenol will be on hand to take part in a Q&A session after the screening.

Following the showing, there will be a party at House of Wax, a bar and wax museum that combines “mixology with the macabre.”

On Friday, there will be a mini marathon of the “Friday the 13th” series with four movies from that series being shown in succession.    

Films for the festival will be shown at various locations across the borough, including Videology, Video Revival, the Wythe Hotel, Kymberle Project, Spectacle, Film Noir, LIU Kumble and Nitehawk Cinema.

In addition to several east coast, New York, U.S. and North American premieres, there will also be a world premiere of “Get My Gun.”

Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, according to Barone, strives to curate a film selection that pushes the viewer’s preconceptions of what a horror film is.

Rather than having countless gruesome murder scenes, the programmers have selected an intelligent and eclectic mix of movies that will challenge the audience and elicit discussion.

“We’re going for a certain level of quality that you would find at the bigger festivals all around the world,” said Barone. “What we want to do is push the notion of what horror is to a degree.

“They won’t necessarily deliver exactly what you’re expecting from the genre. We’re trying to find the best quality films possible, but also find films that have more on their mind then just scaring you or showing you crazy kill scenes.”

In addition to showing movies, several events will take place at the festival, including a Virtual Reality showcase, a midnight drunken ghost hunt and “Drunk Education,” which is described as a Ted Talk with inebriated speakers.

The topic of Drunk Education will be “Final Girls.” Questions will include, “Who is the most iconic final girl?” and “Why do final girls have such a questionable taste in their final weapon?”

Aja Romano from Vox and Kristen Yoonsoo Kim from GQ, the Village Voice and Vice will be two speakers at the event.

The festival will also include panel discussions, Q&As with filmmakers, games, contests, merchandise tables, an award ceremony and a sendoff party after the final screening.

With 11 showings sold out at this year’s festival and after seeing success at last year’s edition, Barone articulated why he believes Brooklynites have embraced such a unique event like the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival.

“In Brooklyn, there’s an instant kind of thirst and wanting for challenging, interesting films and it makes perfect sense for us to be in Brooklyn because that’s the mentality our whole team has; to find the stuff that’s left of center and more about pushing the genre forward,” Barone told the Eagle.

“Brooklyn is receptive to that because by nature, Brooklyn’s art and film community has always loved that kind of thing. It’s the most forward thinking and progressive area of New York City.”

To see a full schedule of films, and to buy tickets to individual screenings, go to

Follow reporter Scott Enman on Twitter.

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