‘Get My Gun’ – A Brooklyn Horror Film Festival Review

“You have a wife and two kids.”

Dressed as a nun and armed with a shotgun, Amanda (Kate Hoffman) confronts the man (William Jousset) who raped her. He pleads for his life, but Amanda is undeterred. The events that lead up to this confrontation then come into focus. Amanda was a hotel maid who made the mistake cleaning the wrong room one day. The attack left her physically and emotionally scarred, as well as pregnant. She struggles to make sense of her life and what to do next. Ultimately she find someone to adopt the unborn child, the successful older doctor Catherine (Rosanne Rubino), who missed her chance to have children of her own. Catherine is eager to take the baby once its born but, as Amanda soon learns, she might be a little too eager.

Get My Gun by writer/director Brian Darwas (his feature debut) is an ingenious subversion of the rape/revenge genre. The opening scene, its score, even the title’s font, scream exploitation but, as the film then sheds its genre trappings, its raw power and originality is on full display. It offers a human element not seen in the likes of I Spite On Your Grave and Ms. 45, in large part due to Kate Hoffman’s truly impressive performance. She’s acting a level not seen in this genre, offering up something truly natural and honest.

If the attack and fallout were removed the film, we’d be left with a fairly lovely coming-of-age vignette about a young woman saving for college by working a shitty job. Both Hoffman and Christy Casey, who plays Amanda’s coworker/friend, are given room to develop their characters with all their charms, quirks, and faults, and they do so remarkably. The scenes are all so normal, but authentic and engaging. When the horror comes back into play, it’s all the more effective because of the groundwork that has been laid. The results are electrifying.

I’ve barely scratched the surface of why I loved this film, but to go into more details would take away some of the surprises (warning: the trailer will as well). Get My Gun is an unexpected and mesmerizing film that heralds major talent both in front of the camera with Hoffman and behind it with Darwas.

The Brooklyn Horror Film Festival is a badass genre film festival taking place in Brooklyn, NY October 12-15, 2017.