Brooklyn 45's talented cast is one of its greatest assets. As tensions rise during the first séance, Ramsay and Buzzington have a sparking relationship, with the latter serving as a dangerous villain. Paul from Buzzington is a war hero through and through; he carries his poisonous patriotism and regalia on his shoulder with pride. Marla is the most logical of the group, anxiously attempting to calm down a situation that might quickly go out of control. Despite the fact that Marla participated in the fight just as much as her comrades, there is a misogynistic undercurrent that runs through all of her interactions with Paul, Archibald, and Clive. They all question the impact that her interrogation has had on her mental health.
What distinguishes Brooklyn 45 as a unique film is its focus in these types of interactions. As it examines how wartime anxiety transfers to everyday violence and how patriotism is a slippery slope to racism and homophobia, what could have been trite genre fodder becomes something more subtle (and far more emotional). Brooklyn 45's turns, which begin quickly before slowing down as the action gets to the core of the story, further heighten the impression of chaos that develops. To reveal any would mean revealing much of what makes Brooklyn 45 such an exciting ride, but Geoghegan's writing is assured enough to not rely primarily on these surprises to startle the reader.
In the end, Brooklyn 45 is neither a military drama nor a pure horror film. It transitions skillfully from ghost story to paranoia-filled fairytale, finding a cosy middle ground that is both a study on the ramifications of wartime trauma and a gory genre picture. Although its brief runtime doesn't often for a thorough examination of all of its issues, it is sufficient to grasp the project's fundamental purpose. Without the cast's connection, it's difficult to imagine the movie succeeding since it truly sells what happens here. Fortunately, Brooklyn 45's various elements come together to create a completely original movie that feels hard to find these days.