Brooklyn 45′, directed by Ted Geoghegan. This captivating movie seamlessly combines supernatural elements with a historical backdrop. Starring Anne Ramsay, Jeremy Holm, Ron E. Rains, and an ensemble cast, the story follows a group of friends who served in the military during World War II. After the war, they gather for a reunion and find themselves drawn into a chilling seance led by Clive, a recent widower. What unfolds is a series of shocking revelations and eerie events that trap the friends inside Clive’s parlor. If you’re curious about the outcome of this mystical experience and its impact on the group, read on for a detailed exploration of the ending of ‘Brooklyn 45’. Warning: spoilers ahead!
Set in Brooklyn, New York, on December 27th, 1945, the film introduces Marla Sheridan, a former military interrogator, and her civilian husband as they reunite with their longtime friends at Clive Hockstatter’s apartment. The group engages in reminiscing about their past, but the conversation takes a dark turn when Clive reveals his interest in metaphysics and the afterlife. Convinced that his deceased wife, Susan, is trapped in a state of unrest, Clive proposes a seance to communicate with her spirit.
As the friends grapple with the bizarre events, Clive tasks Paul with a favor related to Susan, leading to Clive’s sudden suicide. In the aftermath, Paul discovers a woman, Hildegard Baumann, who was locked in a closet, bound and gagged, by Clive. Paul suspects Hildegard of being a Nazi spy, mirroring Susan’s suspicions. He interrogates her, holding her at gunpoint, as the group tries to determine her true identity and intentions.
Clive’s motivation stems from Susan’s paranoia about their German neighbors, whom she suspected of being Nazi spies. Unable to convince anyone of her fears, Susan tragically took her own life. As Clive shares his guilt over not heeding her warnings, Marla reluctantly agrees to participate in the seance, along with the others. They form a circle around a table, joining hands, and call out to the spirits, hoping to establish a connection with the afterlife.
At first, nothing seems to happen, but soon, the closet door begins to violently shake, indicating a presence on the other side. Clive warns the group not to break the circle, fearing that it might leave the door open to supernatural forces. As the banging intensifies, Clive regurgitates a viscous white substance, and Susan’s ghostly hand emerges from it. They hear Susan’s voice emanating from the sludge. In his excitement, Clive accidentally breaks the seance circle, abruptly ending the supernatural activity in the room.
During the interrogation, Hildegard shares her background, explaining that she moved from Germany to New York in 1931. She reveals that she lives nearby with her family and works at her father-in-law’s grocery store. Hildegard explains that Susan had harassed her and her family after the war, believing them to be spies. Clive’s invitation for a drink was actually a ruse to drug and abduct her.
Desperate to escape, the group attempts to break down the door and windows but fails. Clive’s lifeless body suddenly reanimates, urging someone to kill Hilde and labeling her a Nazi. Paul realizes that the only way out is to kill Hilde, but Archie intervenes, preventing Clive from carrying out the act. In the midst of the supernatural events, Marla recalls Clive’s words about leaving “the door to the other side” open. She suggests another seance to close the door and free themselves.
The group reconvenes around the table, excluding Hilde, and initiates the seance, summoning the supernatural forces once again. As the paranormal activity intensifies, Susan’s ghostly figure appears, crawling toward Hilde. Susan’s spirit accuses Hilde of poisoning the town and claims to have died because of her. Despite Hilde’s denial, Archie starts doubting her sincerity.
Overwhelmed and exhausted, Archie implores the spirits to let him out of the room. Miraculously, the door unlocks, but what lies beyond is a hellish landscape. Realizing the dire consequences, Paul attempts to strangle Hilde in a desperate bid for freedom, driven by his blind hatred. Archie tries to intervene, inadvertently giving Bob an opportunity to seize the gun from Paul.
Bob aims the gun at Paul to protect Hilde, but Clive’s reanimated body repeatedly smashes his head against the table. In the ensuing struggle for the gun, Bob ends up shooting Paul in the head. Tragically, when Hilde approaches Bob to express her gratitude, he shoots and kills her, putting an end to the nightmarish ordeal. With Hilde’s death, the spirits leave the parlor, and Bob, Marla, and Archie finally regain their freedom.
Paul firmly believes that Clive and Susan must have had valid reasons for suspecting Hildegard. He arrived at Clive’s apartment earlier than the others, suspecting that Clive had planned for him to discover Hildegard and kill her. Hildegard argues that Clive and Susan’s suspicions were fueled by their inability to accept the war’s end.
Although Marla believes in Hildegard’s innocence, Archie shares Paul’s doubts. However, as Hilde shares stories about her family and their struggles, Marla steps into her former role as a merciless interrogator. She inflicts pain on Hilde, probing for answers about her life and affiliation with the Nazi Party. Despite the intense interrogation, Hilde withstands the pain and provides honest responses. Marla concludes that Hilde is not a Nazi spy, explaining that there is no longer a need for such spies since the Nazi party has been defeated.
However, Paul refuses to accept Marla’s conclusion, clinging to his hatred and suspicions. Despite the group’s insistence, he holds the key to the parlor door. But when he tries to unlock it, the key disintegrates, leaving the group trapped inside.
Throughout the film, Archie’s involvement in alleged war crimes becomes a significant subplot. Initially, Bob expresses hesitance about spending time with Archie due to ongoing investigations into his actions during the war. However, Marla reassures Bob of Archie’s innocence, with the rest of the group standing by him.
However, as tensions rise between Paul and Archie after Clive’s death, Clive taunts Archie by referring to him as a “Baby Butcher.” This prompts Archie and Paul to delve into the horrific event in which Archie bombed a room filled with German children. Archie follows Clive’s orders to clear the path, unaware that it was a registered children’s shelter. To protect Archie, Clive concocts a story about a soldier who died on the battlefield due to excessive aggression.
Eventually, the authorities discover Archie’s involvement in the bombing through other soldiers who served with Clive. This leads to a national investigation, leaving Marla and Bob horrified by Archie’s actions. However, Hilde sympathizes with Archie, acknowledging that he was following orders in the midst of a brutal war. In a display of solidarity, Archie stands up for Hilde and protects her.
As Marla, Bob, and Archie escape from Clive’s apartment, Archie reveals his decision to turn himself in to the authorities and accept responsibility for his war crimes.