The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival Brings Super-Scary Movies Back to the Big Screen

The 2023 lineup includes a restored version of the Japanese classic, "The Ring."

The 1998 Japanese horror classic, Ringu
The 1998 Japanese horror classic, Ringu | Image from Justin Timms (Yellow Veil Pictures), courtesy of Brooklyn Horror Film Festival
The 1998 Japanese horror classic, Ringu | Image from Justin Timms (Yellow Veil Pictures), courtesy of Brooklyn Horror Film Festival

It’s that time of year when Spirit Halloween stores start popping up all throughout New York City, and with it means the return of the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival.

Since 2016, the annual festival has showcased the best horror films from around the world for Brooklyn theatergoers in search of a hair-raising good time. Taking place in mid-October during peak scary season, this year’s festivities include world premieres, retrospectives, and showings of classics celebrating landmark anniversaries.

There’s no better reason to ditch streaming on the sofa than a good scary movie at a theater. Here’s everything you need to know about the 2023 Brooklyn Horror Film Festival.

When is the festival?
The 8-day event takes place October 12–19.

Where in Brooklyn can I go watch the films?
Nitehawk Cinema Williamsburg and Nitehawk Cinema Prospect Park.

How many films are playing?
The 32 features include 25 new films and 7 retrospectives. For shorts, there are 45.

Kill Your Lover
Kill Your Lover | Image from Justin Timms (Yellow Veil Pictures), courtesy of Brooklyn Horror Film Festival

What are the world premieres and centerpiece films?
The festival kicks off with the world premiere of Kill Your Lover by directors Alix Austin and Kier Siewert on opening night. Additional world premieres throughout the festival include films by directors Jaco Bouwer, Aimee Kuge, and Tyler Chipman.

Red Rooms by director Pascal Plante is the festival’s centerpiece, and The Sacrifice Game, a ‘70’s-inspired Christmas-centric movie by director Jenn Wexler, concludes the festival on closing night.

What kinds of films can I choose from?
Attendees can watch films from Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Korea,, South Africa, and beyond ranging from thrillers and documentaries to animation and camp.

For the full 2023 Brooklyn Horror Film Festival lineup, check the website.

What’s some festival programming other than watching films?
Test your knowledge at Final Exam Horror Trivia hosted by director Ted Geoghegan and journalist Michael Gingold on October 18.

This year also marks the first-ever Leviathan Award which will be awarded to William Lustig, a horror flick legend known for his films and industry conservation. The presentation will be followed by a screening of his 1988 classic, Maniac Cop, and a Q & A.

How do I watch the Japanese horror classic, The Ring?
Ringu (The Ring) is part of the festival’s sidebar program, Fear in Focus presented by Arrow Video, with this year’s focus on Japanese films.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of director Hideo Nakata’s cult classic, Ringu, watch it in a special 4K restored version. Additional films include the 1926 silent movie, A Page of Madness, with a live score, and the 1988 hit from director Banmei Takahashi, Door.

How do I buy tickets?
Choose from festival badges or try for a limited amount of individual tickets per screening.

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Tae Yoon was born and raised in Queens, New York. He's the Senior Editor of East, Local cities and oversees Thrillist New YorkThrillist BostonThrillist DC, and Thrillist Philadelphia.