Monday, June 12, 2023

Brooklyn 45 (2023)

Streaming Service: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: Brooklyn 45 (2023)
Genre: Drama, History, Horror
Length:  1h 32min
Rating: Not Rated
Production/Distribution: Divide/Conquer, Hangar 18 Media, PurpleDOG, Raven Banner Entertainment, Shudder
Director: Ted Geoghegan
Writer: Ted Geoghegan
Actors: Anne Ramsay, Ezra Buzzington, Jeremy S. Holm, Kristina Klebe, Larry Fessenden, Lucy Carapetyan, Ron E. Rains
IMDb Blurb: Five military veterans, best friends since childhood, gather together to support their troubled host, and the metaphoric ghosts of their past become all-too-literal.

Selina’s Point of View:
I did not give Brooklyn 45 a spot in my top 20 this month. I didn’t even schedule the screener for review, I only added it after it came out on Shudder. I really thought it was just going to be a low-quality séance film, with nothing new to offer.
I could not have been more wrong.
The start of the flick already had me questioning myself. The characters felt immediately in-depth.
Anne Ramsay (Violet, Bombshell, A League of their Own) had me immediately interested in Marla Sheridan. Marla was shown as this bad-ass World War II interrogator that held the respect of every man in the room – which was not common for that time. Then the interactions between Jeremy Holm (Among the Beasts, Don’t Look Back, Still Here), as Major Archibald Stanton, and Ezra Buzzington (Burning At Both Ends, Bleach, The Nowhere Inn), as Major Paul DiFranco, started to pull me in as well. Their banter felt natural, but uncomfortable. It was meant to make viewers uncomfortable at times, and it pays off in later conversations where the discomfort is called back to.
Ted Geoghegan’s (We Are Still Here, Satanic Panic, Don’t Wake the Dead) use of dialogue allowed for viewers to change their perspective of the characters as the characters themselves were changing perspective. It was masterfully done.
Then came the séance, and I figured I had it pegged from there. For the whole 10 minutes that the séance remained a focal part of the story, anyway. After that, the movie shifted into something more psychological.
If anything, Brooklyn 45 has more in common with 12 Angry Men (1957) than it did with any horror film based around something supernatural. It definitely had those aspects, but it was the paranoia that the story concentrated on most.
Every month, we judge the films coming out based on their trailer. Just like most movie goers do. Until we watch the flick, it’s just a 2-minute trailer and some names on a screen. That’s why the way the coming attractions are handled is so important.
The trailer for Brooklyn 45 is misleading. That said, I think that works out in the movie’s favor this time. I went into it expecting to be disappointed and was instead blown away.
Hopefully, people are still opting to watch the actual film.
If you have Shudder, watch Brooklyn 45. If you give it a chance, you will be impressed.

Cat’s Point of View:
When we first came across Brooklyn 45, it was through the initial teaser Shudder released. It was only an itty bitty clip from the movie. It really didn’t show what was going on, but I had enough to make some guesses. I was intrigued and curious to know if I had guessed right. I was excited when the full trailer was released and I had generally hit the mark. 

The story felt new and interesting, even though it reflected a bygone time. Sure there are plenty of movies where people reach out to the spirit world, but this one seemed like a fresh take from an era where that sort of thing was highly taboo. I wanted to watch just to see where they took the story and how the people involved would handle being faced with the paranormal. 

Oh, and then there was the twist that hit me like a ton of bricks out of left field. 

The narrative delves so far deeper than a group of friends gathered to help one of their own deal with the tragic and senseless loss of his wife. It was steeped in the emotional aftermath of war and the risks when prejudice meets zealous ideals. There were so many nuances layered into this tale. 

The setting was impeccable. I sincerely felt like I had gone back in time to 1945. The acting was also well done. Everyone’s performances hit the mark as authentic to me and there wasn’t anything I could poke at. In fact, there wasn’t anything that could break the spell of Brooklyn 45. I hardly noticed the passage of time as the screen transfixed me. 

It was a thought-provoking story. As with most topics that touch on veterans of WWII, this film had me thinking about my grandfather who was a Major in the Army, and the horrors of war that he experienced and never talked about. 

Brooklyn 45 hits hard even if you don’t have a war veteran in your life. It’s particularly relevant to today’s social and political climate. 

I didn’t see that ending coming, either - and it was unsettling. 

If you have access to Shudder, I would say that Brooklyn 45 is a strong addition to their original movie lineup. Just keep in mind that the topics within could be a little triggering for some. Further, there are some particularly graphic scenes so keep that in mind when determining the ages of the audience. 
Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score –  87%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 78%
Metascore – 71%
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 5.7/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating – 5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4.5/5
Trust the Dice: Parental Guidance Rating – R

Movie Trailer:

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