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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Brooklyn 45 (2023)

This movie is set at the end of nineteen forty five as the world is winding down from World War II. Our characters are former operatives celebrating their first holiday home. Well sort of that is. Their host, Colonel Hockstatter, recently lost his wife to suicide and is tortured by it. Seems she thought their neighbor, a German woman, was a Nazi spy. But everyone ignored or dismissed her concerns which led to her slitting her own wrists. Another named Archibald has been accused of a war crime involving blowing up a room full of kids. We later find out it was under orders from Hockstatter. There are others including a patriot, Major DiFranco, and a former civilian interrogator named Marla who has brought her new husband Bob along.

Once they arrive in the… I guess you would call it a parlor or living room… Hockstatter asks to do a séance to contact his dead wife. Reluctantly they do so and sure enough the ghost responds. Unfortunately, the circle is broken and the door is left open which means the ghost isn’t going to let them go until some things are resolved to it’s liking. This leads to secrets being revealed, old hatreds uncovered, and even a little bit of torture. I can’t say any more without spoilers and I certainly don’t want to do that.

This is an interesting movie. When it popped up on Shudder I wasn’t sure what to expect. It looked like a ghost story, and it is, but there is so much more going on. While there is a supernatural element with a ghost coming back to finish a job it isn’t either for the good of all or even an evil act. What is interesting is that the wife’s spirit basically took the paranoia and hatred from life into the afterlife. It is very clear that is the case because the moment someone acts on it and gives the ghost what she/it wants they are free to go. Though honestly no one including the audience I think are going to feel a sense of satisfaction from what they just watched as it is unsettling. But I’m guessing that was the point so well done movie.

While I found the movie to be one of the best written genre flicks I’ve seen in a very long time there is little chance that a ninety minute long runtime would be sustainable set in a single room without some excellent performances. This cast is filled with working actors who bring a realism and believability to their characters which is critical to the Brooklyn 45 working and quite the trick given how based in fantasy the actual plot is. Other than Larry Fessenden and Anne Ramsey I didn’t recognize the names but all of them are excellent. The movie simply would work without them but with them and the excellent writing it makes for a good watch.

I have the feeling that Brooklyn 45 is going to stick with me for a while. If you are looking for a standard by the numbers horror/ghost story, then this isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you want a bit of drama and character studies along with the spooky stuff then you need to check this one out. I had fun with it, and I think you will as well.


© Copyright 2023 John Shatzer

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