Brooklyn Horror: Booger (2023)

Director: Mary Dauterman

Running Time: 78 Minutes

Starring: Grace Glowicki, Garrick Bernard, Marcia DeBonis, Heather Matarazzo, Sofia Dobrushin, David Rysdahl, Richard Perez, Jordan Carlos

Writer/Director Mary Dauterman opens her feature with a video recording, as Anna (Grace Glowicki) and best friend Izzy (Sofia Dobrushin) are joined by the welcome presence of Izzy's cat, Booger. Those fond times are sad memories for Anna, as she mourns Izzy while retreating from life and work. She focuses all her attention on Booger, although soon finds herself undergoing a strange transformation after the cat bites her.

Despite encouragement from others to open up, Anna finds herself on a self-destructive streak worsened by bottling up her feelings and pushing others away. She is understandably hurting, although she struggles to recognize how others are also hurting from Izzy's passing. Key to this is a stellar lead performance from Glowicki, capturing this person lost in grief and holding onto what remains of her best friend.

As Anna's wound worsens, she begins exhibiting strange behaviour such as eating her hair, and having cravings for canned tuna. What unfolds is a well-crafted dive into the character's worsening state, as her physical and mental health are explored through body and psychological horror. This is reflected in how visuals effectively capture her loosening grip on reality, although it also captures an overall feeling of over-familiarity. While the material is decently handled, there is a lingering feeling that this has been done better elsewhere. Despite that, there is a moving use of The Piña Colada Song which rounds off this feline shaped intersection of The Fly and The Babadook.

Booger played at Brooklyn Horror