Movie Ramblings: Feast


Feast is a gloriously gory and blackly funny horror movie. On the face of it it is just your run of the mill strangers trapped in [remote location] fighting against [monster] type movie. But the way that it mixes dark comedy with violence, death and blood works really well for me. There is a lot of self reference in the film which is sometimes jarring, reminding you that you are watching a movie just when you were immersing yourself in the story. But it is funny and one of the things that sets the film apart from many other low budget splatter movies.

The characters are obvious horror stereotypes, for example: the determined single mother (2 actually); the bimbo waitress; a couple of gung-ho heroes; the stoner, the bad guy turned good etc. The movie embraces the stereotypes though and even introduces them as such with little bits of background info and life expectancy estimates (some of which are accurate and some completely wrong). The fact that the characters are openly assigned stereotype roles by the film somehow distracts from the fact that they are playing clichéd roles and lets you concentrate on the fun. Some of the characters even manage to step outside the stereotype and do something unexpected. Some characters get upgraded or have their life expectancy revised as others get killed off or the plot develops.

Being America, there are plenty of guns around but as usual they aren't much help.
Being America, there are plenty of guns around but as usual they aren’t much help.

The monster effects are not really my style, I prefer a bit less messy and complicated but they are well done and the direction makes the most of limited resources by not trying to show too much. Gore effects are also well done and just the way I like them with copious amounts of blood sprayed all over the place from severed limbs, cut throats, disembowelments and popped heads. This description makes the film sound extremely gory but really apart from all the blood there isn’t much gore and it doesn’t ever feel gratuitous in the context of the film.

The bloodied bimbo, a necessity for any gore-fest
The bloodied bimbo, a necessity for any gore-fest

Of course there are a few issues. Some of the scenes feel like they don’t fit into the movie and have been shoe horned in rather than smoothly integrated. Occasionally characters seem to disappear and then reappear then they are relevant to the plot (but this might be due to lack of attention on my part). Sometimes the quick cuts that are required to disguise the creature and gore effects are a bit irritating. But these things are excusable in the overall experience. Unusually for a horror movie I never found myself shouting at stupid characters or urging people to pick up obvious weapons or make sure that the obviously not dead monster is actually dead.

A great example of how you should do a horror movie on a udget. I’m really looking forward to the sequels.


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