Ryan Guess, once a regular on the stage at the legendary but now-closed Goodbye Blue Monday in Bushwick, has recently made a significant contribution to his ongoing film career. He co-produced Herd, a compelling horror film directed by Steven Pierce which recently premiered at Chelsea’s upscale Midnight Theater. Now accessible on Apple TV, the movie showcases Bushwick’s continually growing impact on the arts.
Coming from Pierce, known for his editing work on “Saturday Night Live,” Herd deviates from typical zombie narratives. Instead of relying on gore and jump scares, the movie delves into psychological elements. Ellen Adair and Mitzi Akaha give nuanced performances as Jamie Miller and Alex Kanai, a lesbian couple who are struggling with relationship issues. Intent on reconciling, they set out on what should have been a romantic canoeing trip, only to find themselves in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.
Tensions escalate when Kanai sustains an injury, turning their outdoor getaway into a race against time. They encounter a group of survivors who have sought refuge in Miller’s father’s home, a location laden with emotional significance. The movie fearlessly traverses a maze of raw emotions, focusing on Jamie’s struggles with her painful past while caring for an increasingly unwell Alex.
Talking to Bushwick Daily, Guess says: “In a divided America, it’s crucial to tell stories that provoke thought. Good people in difficult situations can make regrettable choices. Films like this prompt reflection and inspire a more compassionate world.”
The premiere itself attracted a high-profile crowd, including Ellen Adair, Corbin Bernsen, and Jeremy Holm. Produced by Dark Sky Films and MPI Media Group—companies with a track record of critical and commercial successes— Herd stands as a testament to the limitless potential of Bushwick’s robust arts scene and marks yet another way the neighborhood continues to shape the broader artistic landscape.
Herd is out now on Apple TV.
Images taken by Alec Meeker.
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