Brooklyn 45

Movie Review: Brooklyn 45

Shortly after Christmas in 1945, friends and war veterans Archibald Stanton (Jeremy Holm), Paul DiFranco (Ezra Buzzington), and Marla Sheridan (Anne Ramsay), along with her husband Bob (Ron E. Rains), meet at the home of their commander Clive Hockstatter (Larry Fessenden) to try and help him cope with his wife’s recent suicide. She was convinced that her German neighbor Hildegard Baumann (Kristina Klebe) was a German spy and grew increasingly distraught that no one would believe her, ultimately leading her to take her own life.

As the friends gather in Clive’s parlor, he subtly locks the door and then informs them that he has been studying spiritualism and wanted to conduct a séance to contact his wife. The group is understandably against the idea, but he gradually convinces them to go along with it and, freely admitting that he doesn’t really know what he’s doing, begins to try and reach out. To everyone’s surprise, including Clive, he is quickly proven successful, as a banging sound begins to emanate from the closet, the candles light themselves, and the phantom arm of his wife emerges from the center of the table, her voice calling out from all around them. To say anything more would ruin the story, but suffice it to say that things take some dark and unexpected turns from there.

Writer / director Ted Geoghegan (We Are Still Here, Mohawk) works wonders with his small budget. Smartly confining the film to a single room makes it feel like watching a play, a sense that is only enhanced by the long debates and stagy performances from the game cast. Even the limited number of special effects shots seem like they probably could have been pulled off on stage, aside from maybe one gory moment near the end. Anyone looking for a non-stop scarefest is going to be disappointed as this is not that kind of movie, but those interested in a supernaturally tinged drama that explores the ways that traumatic experiences can live on within us and how deep-set prejudices can lead men to do awful things will find it a worthwhile experience. ★★★★


Button Shudder

★★★★★ = Excellent | ★★★★ = Very Good | ★★★ = Good | ★★ = Fair | ★ = Poor

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