[Brooklyn Horror Review] Slayed LGBTQ+ Horror Shorts

[Brooklyn Horror Review] Slayed LGBTQ+ Horror Shorts
Still from HIDEOUS l IMDB
Since it’s apparently a BHFF fan favorite, this year’s Slayed LGBTQ+ Horror Shorts was completely sold out. There wasn’t a poor film in the Slayed LGBTQ+ Horror Shorts bunch, all were quite good. HIDEOUS and CHAPERONE were both standouts in the block. I’m psyched to see what the future of queer cinema holds in store for these talented filmmakers and actors.

The first short, CHAPERONE, is really great. After ditching all his earthly belongings, a young man (Russel Kahn) meets up with an older man (Zachary Quinto) for an intriguing weekend. Writer-director Sam Max stayed for the Q&A to talk about the personal inspirations and imagery he had in mind while creating this 16-minute short.

The second short was DON’T GO WHERE I CAN’T FIND YOU. It’s very pretty. As a composer, Margaret (Marie Ruane) is trying to express her grief after the tragic death of her partner. She says that “There are some doorways that only music can open.” She begins to feel haunted as the presence of her deceased lover, Freya (Stephanie Dufresne), makes herself known. Directed by Rioghnach Ní Ghrioghair, this 19-minute film was also quite good, with a stunning set and solid acting performances.

Next up in the block was THEY SEE YOU, directed by Jared Januschka. Robin (Colleen Kelly) is a saint – as a nurse, she’s always helping others. This includes her sister Dana (Katharine Bellatone), who seems to be struggling with paranoid delusions and calls her sister to ask for help. Robin attempts to help, but ends up making things way, way worse. Han Van Sciver, who plays Robin’s love interest, also joined the Q&A following the movie to talk about the 10-minute film as well as a few of their upcoming projects. THEY SEE YOU is pretty mysterious and will leave you with more questions than answers.

In I LOVE YOU DON’T LEAVE ME, two women are pulled together by a cute puppy, and as they get to know each other, they start to encounter their own various issues. Represented by actors in swamp-monsters costumes, the film tackles mental health issues.

One of the shorter and more serious films in the block was THE BOTTOM, directed by Morgan Ruaidhrí O’Sullivan and James Kautz. Over nine minutes, a man confronts his friend at gunpoint – with potentially deadly consequences. In a film this short, I won’t give anything else away, but I enjoyed the mysteriousness of this entry in the block as well.

Yann Gonzalez directed the final short, a colorful 22-minute musical extravaganza entitled HIDEOUS. A smartly-dressed young man (Oliver Sim) goes for a television interview – and then starts to bare his soul in a glorious symphony of color and sound. As the pop star dazzles and stuns his audiences, he also transforms into a hideous green monster.

Altogether, I highly recommend watching this year’s Slayed: LGBTQ+ Horror Shorts block at Brooklyn Horror Film Festival. It’s a whirlwind of mystery and fright that’s bound to delight queer cinema lovers.

Remy Millisky
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