PLOT: Trapped in their host’s lounge, the Greatest Generation now finds themselves put to one final test, with their only route to freedom being more bloodshed.
REVIEW: The 1940s isn’t an era we see utilized often in horror so it immediately brings up some intrigue when a genre film takes place here. Due to World War 2, the 40s are often relegated to some war stories, and here is no different. Brooklyn 45 follows five military veterans meeting together after the war is over. But they soon find their friendship tested as their past comes back to haunt them. It’s an interesting concept, that caters to those that like a slow burn. But those expecting answers may end up a tad disappointed.
I could see Brooklyn 45 as a stageplay, with the film mostly relying on the performances from its ensemble to create intrigue. Full of monologues, each of the actors gets a spotlight. Jeremy Holm‘s performance as Mjr. Archibald Stanton is a real treat. Starting off a bit goofy and flamboyant, he has one of the best arcs in the film. I could have watched him give speech after speech because each of them was so great. He’s a tragic character and easily my favorite of the bunch, despite him doing some really heinous things. Ezra Buzzington‘s Mjr. Paul DiFranco works perfectly as an antagonist. His dedication to duty is more frustrating than admirable and I wanted to strangle him throughout. I feel as though I’ve met many like him.
Larry Fessenden continues to be a highlight of any film he’s in. If anything, I’d say he’s underutilized in the grand scheme of things and that’s true here as well. The rest of the cast is filled out with Anne Ramsay, Kristina Klebe, and Ron E. Rains. Each of them gets a nice moment, though I did find Klebe’s German accent to be a bit distracting. While the film is mostly a “talker” there are some pretty brutal scenes of violence. One in particular involved fingernails and left me wincing. There are also some pretty impressive gunshot wounds but unfortunately, the sound of the gunshots is far too flat. The CGI that’s utilized for some of the supernatural stuff doesn’t entirely work, but thankfully it’s a very minor component. The gore is mostly practical and that’s what really matters.
Ted Geoghegan has gained quite the reputation in the genre with films like We Are Still Here and Satanic Panic. Heck, we can pretty much thank him for bringing Barbara Crampton back to the genre. And there is so much to like here with the 40s setting and aesthetic. But I can’t help but always notice there’s always something that doesn’t click for me with his films. Whether it’s the character motivation or how the certain twists were revealed, And sadly, I’m not sure I really saw the point of many of the events. I found myself increasingly frustrated with the third act. And the ending comes together in a sloppy way.
Brooklyn 45 does a great job of maintaining the mystery throughout its runtime. Overall, I just didn’t really see the point of the messaging. By the time “all is revealed” it mostly just feels like a bit of a mess. There are some great monologues and some really good imagery, but it’s far from a satisfying story. Questions are posed that aren’t really answered and the characters do some truly despicable things. While I enjoyed the film overall, I often caught myself expecting more than what I was given.
Brooklyn 45 is STREAMING ON SHUDDER ON JUNE 9TH, 2023.