[Brooklyn Horror Review] THE WEIRD KIDZ
THE WEIRD KIDZ, playing at Brooklyn Horror Film Festival, is a mixed bag, but there is more to love here than dislike. The animated film, directed by Zach Passero, follows a trio of 12-year-old boys, including Dug, on a trip with Dug’s older brother, Wyatt, and his girlfriend. After hearing stories about a local monster named “Night Child,” they camp at a nearby park and soon realize the legend is real. Though some of the humor did not connect with me, there was still a lot of humor and moments of horror and bloodshed I enjoyed. THE WEIRD KIDZ has a coming-of-age story at its center but tells the journey via fighting off a monster to save the people you love.

Dug is playing an arcade game in a convenience store while his two friends loiter nearby. While Dug is still into games, his two friends are more interested in seeing women’s breasts. Given Dug’s few conversations with his brother, they are not that close; their relationship is more antagonistic than caring. Wyatt calls all three variations of “scrotum” instead of their names. Still, the relationship is not acrimonious. Later, while drunk, he compliments each boy’s talent. Wyatt’s girlfriend, Mel, is kind to the boys too, often diffusing tense situations.

The animation is not mind-blowing, but it reminds me of an animated short I saw years ago on Youtube. Perhaps even Daria. There is a love for horror movies, including the campy B-horror, which shows in THE WEIRD KIDZ. While not terrifying, the film focuses on being fun and does not take itself seriously. Though I like my horror to be scary, that is when the main focus is terror, and they throw in too many comedic moments. Here, the focus is on the relationship between the characters. Dug learns more about himself on this deadly camping trip.

The game scenarios that play out in Dug’s mind as he executes plans to rescue the others made me laugh. As an avid horror fan and gamer, THE WEIRD KIDZ merged them both and held my attention. You learn more about Dug and Wyatt, but you also realize that, despite jokes and disagreements, they all care about each other. Some people would not go that far for family or friends, especially with a monster on the loose. But the beast is nothing compared to another threat. Though none of it is anything Dug cannot handle.

THE WEIRD KIDZ is like Stand By Me, but the conflict is a creature rather than awful young adults and a dead body. The music helps with each emotional beat, including comedy, horror, and unity. The twist was not surprising; after all, this film firmly plays in the city folk, small-town horror world. Yet they found a way to make it refreshingly humorous. I am curious about why the park’s name is Jerusalem. Especially given what happens later in the story.

Overall, THE WEIRD KIDZ keeps you interested thanks to its quirky story. There is bloodshed and comedy with a heartfelt story about acceptance. Curious if there will be a sequel, given the ending has a question mark for the future.

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