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Lee Haven Jones
Isn’t it just your luck? A horror movie called The Feast right before Thanksgiving.
Isn’t it just your luck? A horror movie called The Feast right before Tu B'shevat?
And speaking of trees and holidays, the characters in the new Welsh horror movie The Feast certainly have a lot to celebrate. So much so that they’re having a large dinner and there should be a word for that large dinner. But since it’s a horror movie there’s a good chance that food isn’t the only thing on the menu.
These Welsh wizards may be serving up some terror on the side. A side dish of dread alongside mashed potatoes and gravy and…
*looks up Welsh food for authenticity*
…Selsig Morgannwg and Conwy Mussels.
It must be, I looked it up online.
Anyway, back to the review.
Who could that be?
*answers door without seeing who it is first*
Ext. Noel’s Porch. Night.
There’s a LARGE BAG with a noticeable smell coming from it. Noel REACHES DOWN, hesitant to pick it up. He OPENS the bag.
It’s a bag of authentic Welsh food for me to eat while I write this review to get into the Welsh spirit. Turns out Selsig Morgannwg are just Glamorgan Sausages and Teisennau Tatws are just potato cakes. I’ll eat this before the synopsis.
The G family are getting ready for a feast. Why are they the G family? Because I didn’t hear a last name I can pronounce or would even want to spell multiple times for a review because it would take too f*cking long. I can, however introduce the family so I can pad the word count.
- Glenda (Nia Roberts)- It’s her party and she’ll cook if she wants to. She’s been preparing feasts like these for years and nobody’s had any complaints. But tonight she’s going to have to do without her usual assistant because she’s gone missing. But we’re sure everything will be okay.
- Gwyn (Julian Lewis Jones)- He’s a member of Welsh Parliament and he throws dinner parties like this in order to drum up political favor and use the family’s land to earn money on the side. You can tell by the size of the house that Gwyn is doing pretty well at his job. In fact, he’s shot two rabbits for the feast tonight. Everyone will love that. Even Gwyn and Glenda’s two douchey sons…
- Guto (Steffan Cennydd)- Spellcheck is redlining me that I’ve spelled this name wrong but I really haven’t. There’s too many consonants in a row. That’s unsettling. Guto has a drug problem and that’s why he’s in his 20s living with his parents. He’s going to have bigger problems come dinner time.
- Gweirydd (Sion Alun Davies)- W…t…f. Enough with these Welsh names even though the movie takes place in Wales. Gweirydd is training to be a triathlete. Which means he spends a portion of the movie wearing a unitard and has special dietary needs. He’s going to have to worry about something other than gluten (another g!) when it’s time for dinner
Speaking of dinner, Glenda really needs help while cooking the meal so she called some nameless agency for a new assistant. A young woman named Cadi (Annes Elwy- pronounced “Paul Rudd”) arrives, better late than never.
Cadi is very quiet and observant, though she displays a lovely singing voice.
Cadi is very efficient in helping Glenda get what she needs for the feast. She’s even good at fending off unwanted advances from Gwyn (“Would you like to be friends?”- but read it in Welsh and slow and creepy). For whatever reason Cadi has taken to walking around the house. What is she looking for?
No time for that now. Guests are starting to arrive. Gwyn and Glenda have thrown feasts like this before, but there’s very good reason to suspect that this feast will be their last.
You have no reason to think that other than the trailer and the first 45 minutes and the final 45 minutes.
What Works With The Feast
- A slow burn, um, cook horror movie that’s deliberately paced but never boring. Director Lee Haven Jones and writer Roger Williams keep things off balance enough so that even when nothing overtly scary is happening, you’re always in some mode of suspense. You know things aren’t right and you want to know why on a scene by scene basis.
- Where are you going to put that broken glass? Sorry I asked.
- There’s not a lot of gore in The Feast, but it appears, it’s more effective than you would expect or would like.
- You can only see Ghostbusters Afterlife so many times.
What Doesn’t Work With The Feast
- If you don’t stop watching The Feast after 20 minutes you’ll probably like it. Those who need some cheap jump scares every 5 minutes shouldn’t even consider watching. In some ways, The Feast is like Lamb in that it spends most of the first act engaging in some mundane task. In this case it’s preparing a meal like Downton f*cking Abbey. But unlike Lamb, The Feast has an actual payoff if you’re patient. And it has subtitles.
Atmospheric and chilling, even if it takes while to get going. You could do worse with a 90-minute running time. Chew on this Feast for a while and be glad A24 didn’t distribute it or else there would be another hour of runtime.