The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival 2023 Lineup Is Here

CANNIBAL MUKBANG, THE SACRIFICE GAME, and more are coming to the fest.

By Angel Melanson · @HorrorGirlProbs · September 12, 2023, 5:19 PM EDT

The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival (BHFF) just announced its full program for the upcoming 2023 edition, running October 12-19. All screenings will be held at Nitehawk Cinema’s Williamsburg and Prospect Park locations. Aside from a killer lineup, this year will also feature the inaugural Leviathan Award, presented to NYC horror legend William Lustig at a special 35th-anniversary screening of Maniac Cop, followed by a post-screening conversation with Lustig.

The Opening Night film is the World Premiere of Alix Austin and Keir Siewer's Kill Your Lover. The duo broke onto the BHFF scene last year with their short film Sucker. The 2023 festival boasts the World Premieres of three more exciting new films: Gaia director Jaco Bouwer’s unsettling Breathing In, Aimee Kuge’s audacious debut Cannibal Mukbang, and Tyler Chipman’s powerfully creepy debut The Shade. The festival’s other spotlight titles include director Pascal Plante’s recently announced Utopia Distribution title Red Rooms as the festival’s Centerpiece Film, and Jenn Wexler’s ’70s supernatural Christmas horror The Sacrifice Game as the Closing Night Film.

The festival will also include a slate of LGBTQ Horror, including Alice Maio Mackay's T-Blockers, and the North American premiere of The J-Horror Virus. Additional highlights include the legendary Larry Fessenden’s werewolf tale Blackout, more fun from the Adams Family with their ambitious period piece Where The Devil Roams, and Cannes selection Tiger Stripes, and Jason Yu’s Sleep, hot off its inclusion as part of TIFF Midnight Madness. Check out more details from the official press release below.

The festival’s signature sidebar programs all return, starting with Slayed: LGBTQ Horror Films (presented by Horror Press), which includes BHFF alum Betrand Mandico’s unclassifiable CONANN, Sam H. Freeman and Ng Choon Ping’s confrontational FEMME, Alice Maio Mackay midnighter T-BLOCKERS, and BHFF’s popular Slayed: LGBTQ Horror Shorts block. The Home Invasion sidebar (presented by Cool Hand Movers), meanwhile, shines a spotlight on NYC’s brightest new filmmakers and includes Chris Skotchdopole’s anxiety-inducing debut CRUMB CATCHER, BHFF short film alum Mary Dauterman’s singular feature debut BOOGER, the previously mentioned CANNIBAL MUKBANG, and two shorts blocks.

The Fear In Focus sidebar is also back with a special Japan edition! The festival’s perennial international-cinema-focused sidebar, presented by Arrow Video, will include the 1926 silent masterwork A PAGE OF MADNESS, featuring a live original score from The Flushing Remonstrance; a 35th anniversary presentation of 1988’s forgotten home invasion shocker DOOR; a 25th anniversary screening of 1998’s essential RINGU; the North American premiere of THE J-HORROR VIRUS, a new documentary that delves into the history and lasting impact of this highly influential wave in horror cinema; and a special lecture presented by THE MISKATONIC INSTITUTE OF HORROR STUDIES, with Professor Sigmund Shen highlighting the aforementioned RINGU and GOJIRA as allegories to reckon with a traumatic past.

The final sidebar, keeping in line with the festival’s 2023 video store theme (check out the killer poster above), is none other than our Staff Picks section, the majority of which will screen at midnight and include 50th anniversary screenings of a pair of 1973 classics, MESSIAH OF EVIL and TORSO, along with a 40th anniversary screening of 1983’s ANGST. The complete line-up of features, shorts, repertory programming, and events can be found below.

Festival badges are on sale now with a limited amount of individual tickets on sale this Friday at 12PM EST. Additional program info is detailed below, visit the official website for the complete lineup.




World Premiere

UK | 2023 | 77 Min. Dir. Alix Austin, Keir Siewert


Dakota has had enough of her unhealthy and toxic relationship with Axel, but the feeling isn’t mutual. As she tries to end things, Axel begins turning into something different, something monstrous. Both an uncompromising breakup film and a wild new entry into the body horror canon, co-directors Alix Austin and Keir Siewert’s debut feature roars with a punk edge and killer practical effects and soars via dynamite performances from newcomers Paige Gilmour and Shane Quigley-Murphy.



East Coast Premiere

Canada | 2023 | 118 Min. Dir. Pascal Plante

A serial killer is put on trial for the gruesome murders of three little girls while an enigmatic stranger searches for the missing snuff video needed to indict him.




East Coast Premiere

USA | 2023 | 97 Min.
Dir. Jenn Wexler

Yuletide terror invades a Catholic school as two teenagers spend the holidays with their teacher.


East Coast Premiere

Ireland | 2023 | 91 Min.
Dir. Paul Duane


A secret organization seeking out obscure songs unleashes a series of supernatural events when they come across the wrong tune in this uniquely creepy work of Irish folk horror.


NYC Premiere

USA | 2023 | 103 Min.
Dir. Larry Fessenden

After a string of grisly murders rocks his small town, tortured artist Charley (Alex Hurt) starts to suspect that he transforms into a werewolf during his frequent drinking binges.



U.S. Premiere

USA | 2023 | 78 Min.
Dir. Mary Dauterman

A woman undergoes a strange transformation following the sudden death of her roommate and best friend.


breathing in

World Premiere

South Africa | 2023 | 105 Min.
Dir. Jaco Bouwer

GAIA director Jaco Bouwer returns with a moody, quietly unsettling chamber piece, adapted from a South African play, in which a wounded General at the turn of the 20th century looks for help inside the wrong home.



World Premiere

USA | 2023 | 100 Min.
Dir. Aimee Kuge

An introverted nerd finds himself dangerously deep inside the crazy world of mukbanging after he falls head over heels for a mysterious woman.

Breathing In dir. Jaco Bouwer


NY Premiere


Belgium, France, Luxembourg | 2023 | 105 Min.
Dir. Bertrand Mandico

Genre cinema’s incomparable auteur Bertrand Mandico returns to Brooklyn Horror with his craziest work yet, a time-jumping and visually wild riff on the Conan the Barbarian story.



NYC Premiere

USA | 2023 | 105 Min.
Dir. Chris Skotchdopole

Shane and Leah’s already fraught honeymoon takes quite the turn for the worse when they are bombarded with an unexpected visit from an ill-intentioned inventor and his wife.


NY Premiere

UK | 2023 | 99 Min.
Dir. Sam H. Freeman, Ng Choon Ping


After suffering a brutal homophobic attack, drag queen Jules emerges back on the scene in this propulsive and ferocious revenge thriller, co-starring George MacKay (1917).


North American Premiere

UK | 2023 | 95 Min.
Dir. Sarah Appleton, Jasper Sharp


More than two decades ago, a group of Japanese directors including Hideo Nakata, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Takashi Shimizu ushered in a new wave of horror cinema that completely changed the game.


NY Premiere

Australia | 2022 | 94 Min.
Dir. Matt Vesely


With her career on the ropes, a journalist (Lily Sullivan, EVIL DEAD RISE) happens upon a disturbing mystery involving a black brick destroying the lives of those who come across it.


NYC Premiere

USA | 2023 | 92 Min.
Dir. Dutch Southern


A burglary gone horribly sideways leaves one survivor to tell the tale in this refreshingly unpredictable and vibrant genre mash-up of horror, comedy and heist film.


NY Premiere

Brazil | 2023 | 101 Min.
Dir. Daniel Bandeire

On the verge of losing their only source of work and shelter, tensions erupt as a community of exploited farmhands wage bloody rebellion against their employers.


Cannibal Mukbang dir. Aimee Kuge


NY Premiere

Canada | 2023 | 88 Min.
Dir. Steve J. Adams, Sean Horlor

The shocking true story of how one book released in 1980 sowed the seeds for an unimaginable fear and sparked the Satanic Panic.



World Premiere

USA | 2023 | 132 Min.
Dir. Tyler Chipman

Following the tragic loss of their patriarch, the Beckman family must fight like hell against a corrosive malevolent entity and put an end to a cycle of suffering.


NY Premiere

South Korea | 2023 | 95 Min.
Dir. Jason Yu


Increasingly disturbing sleep walking behavior puts a pregnant wife and her loving husband at hellish odds when his nocturnal affliction threatens their unborn child.


East Coast Premiere

USA | 2023 | 95 Min.
Dir. Amanda Kramer

Transgressive narrative filmmaker Amanda Kramer switches to documentary for this fascinating and comprehensive look back at the age of cyber cinema, narrated by Debbie Harry.



East Coast Premiere

UK | 2023 | 93 Min.
Dir. Robert Morgan

With its powerful blend of haunting stop-motion animation and devastating woman-on-the-edge storytelling, short film veteran Robert Morgan’s feature debut follows a young animator who’s losing her mind and succumbing to homicidal urges.



Australia | 2023 | 74 Min.
Dir. Alice Maio Mackay

Transphobia spreads as a parasitic infection in a small Australian town in which two filmmakers lead the fight against this pervasive, and ever present, enemy.


Malaysia, Taiwan, France, Germany, Netherlands, Indonesia | 2023 | 95 Min. Dir. Amanda Nell Eu


The confusion from her first period leads to a 12-year-old girl’s transformation into something monstrous in this creative and lively coming-of-age horror fairy tale.


East Coast Premiere

French | 2023 | 108 Min.
Dir. Stephan Castang

Vincent is an unassuming man whose life is drastically altered when people start to violently attack him for no apparent reason.



NY Premiere

USA | 2023 | 93 Min.
Dir. Toby Poser, Zelda Adams, John Adams

A murderous family of sideshow performers happen upon the key to eternal life, which boosts their act…but naturally has gruesome consequences.


NYC Premiere


USA | 2023 | 88 Min.
Dir. Jessica Kozak

A reunion camping trip for three friends, following the death of their bestie, leads to an entertaining and subtly unnerving examination of dysfunctional relationships and unspoken resentments.

MANIAC COP – 35th Anniversary (w/ Q&A)


USA | 1988 | 85 Min.
Dir. William Lustig

Celebrate 35 years of ’80s horror excellence as we screen NYC horror royalty Bill Lustig’s raucous classic Maniac Cop, in which an undead police officer goes on a gruesome Big Apple rampage.

MESSIAH OF EVIL – 50th Anniversary


USA | 1973 | 90 Min.
Dir. Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz

Long before they made 1986’s Howard the Duck, Willard Huyck and Gloria Katz went in an entirely other direction for this immensely disturbing cosmic horror masterpiece, newly restored by AGFA and Radiance Films.


TORSO – 50th Anniversary

Italy | 1973 | 90 Min.
Dir. Sergio Martino

Head back to early 1970s Italy and watch the body count rise as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sergio Martino’s exceptional giallo classic with a special late-night screening.




For truly scary filmmaking, look no further than this yearly dose of terrifying shorts, with 2023’s batch including new spins on folk horror, home invasions, and CHRISTINE-like automotive horror. 

Stop Dead, dir. Emily Greenwood (UK); A Whim to Kill, dir. Tiange Xiang (China); Leech, dir. George Coley (UK); Mosquito Lady, dir. Kristine Gerolaga (USA); Alicia, dir. Tony Morales (Spain); Ride Baby Ride, dir. Sofie Somoroff (USA); I Wanna See, dir. Max Friedman (USA); The Wyrm of Bwlch Pen Barras, dir. Craig Williams (UK); The Queue, dir. Michael Rich (USA); My Scary Indian Wedding, dir. Ramone Menon (USA)



Back to annihilate your senses with all things creepy, psychological, soul crushing and satirical, these shorts play all over the horror sandbox to really screw you up. 

Oddities, dir. Tyler Savage; Catching Spirits, dir. Vanessa Beletic; Every House is Haunted, dir. Bryce McGuire; I Could Just Die, and That Would Be All Right, dir. A.K. Espada; Pruning, dir. Lola Blanc; The Influencer, dir. Lael Rogers; Meadowville, dir. Phillip Clark Davis


SLAYED: LGBTQ Horror Shorts

Presented by Horror Press

Intimate body horror, wild forays into the supernatural, and a first-class giallo homage fuel this year’s edition of Brooklyn Horror’s popular queer horror celebration.

Ringing Rocks, dir. Gus Reed (USA); High Fun, dir. Adesh Prasad (India); Pool Party, dir. Ellie Stewart (Canada); In Your Hands, dir. Luigi Sibona (UK); The Angels, dir. Abby Rae Cornelius, Cheri Green (USA); La Vedova Nera, dir. Fiume, Julian McKinnon (France); Vibrator Girl, dir. Kara Strait (USA)



Final Exam Horror Trivia
Presented by Dark Sky Films
Do you think you know more about horror films than the rest of Gotham? Then it’s time to prove it via five blistering rounds of expert level creepy trivia with hosts Ted Geoghegan (director of WE ARE STILL HERE and Shudder’s BROOKLYN 45) and journalist Michael Gingold (of Fangoria and Rue Morgue fame)! Meet new friends, win amazing prizes, and learn more about horror cinema exclusively at Final Exam!
Certified Forgotten Podcast 
Certified Forgotten is a 60-minute bi-weekly horror movie podcast with a focus on underseen films. Hosts Matt Donato and Matt Monagle speak with creators, filmmakers, and critics about their lifelong relationships to the horror genre. Each episode also highlights another unique genre title with ten-or-fewer reviews on aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes that’s picked by the guest, letting them champion each episode’s title to their heart’s content.
2023 also marks the introduction of the Leviathan Award, Brooklyn Horror’s first-ever tribute award created to honor the luminaries of horror and acknowledge their monstrous contributions to the genre. This year’s recipient is none other than legendary NYC horror filmmaker and conservationist William Lustig. From a catalog of enduring canonical efforts such as MANIAC and MANIAC COP to his invaluable contributions to film restoration with his distribution label Blue Underground, Lustig has dedicated a decades-long career to championing genre film. A true lover and supporter of cinema, we can think of no one more deserving of this inaugural award than him. The award presentation will be followed by a special 35th anniversary screening of his 1988 NYC action-horror classic MANIAC COP and a Q&A.