The Bushwick-set slasher film Psychotic! put its best foot forward, kicking off with a jarring synth score by Blazing Galaxies and a stalker's-eye-view scene (we see just a hand with a knife) in which the intended murder is shock-blocked by the arrival of party guests — and then reduced to hiding under the bed during the festivities. It's a strong opening to an uneven film. Derek Gibbons and Maxwell Frey's homegrown indie scolds its Brooklyn twenty-somethings for their obliviousness and self-involvement even as a knife-wielding murderer (the wonderfully named "Bushwick Party Killer") hunts them down. Psychotic! is best when it leavens the terror with comedy, slipping moments of ridiculousness into horror tropes: One character begs to be buzzed into a building, citing her social-media presence as proof that she's not the killer; at another point, the maniac pauses before the kill to toke from a bowl.

The film becomes more grating when the comedy is left to stand alone -- the amped-up acting is oversaturated in self-aware irony, and the few laughs wrung from the characters' trainwreck of a band aren't worth the time spent listening to it. It turns out that skewering the pretentiousness of hipsters is more fun when there are actual skewers involved.


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