“The Feast”

4 STARS

The gruesome yet elegant “The Feast” is a slow burning horror film about a dinner party that turns deadly. It’s visually polished and lovely to look at, but you may find yourself turning away from the bloody gore in the grand finale. This is an interesting horror film that blends elements of fantasy and social commentary, delivering a scathing critique of the entitlement of the wealthy.

An extravagant home with walls of glass sets the stage for a dinner party in the Welsh countryside. Windows are everywhere, and someone is always watching. Needing help preparing the meal, woman of the house Glenda (Nia Roberts) hires an assistant named Cadi (Annes Elwy), a disturbing girl who shows up unkempt with a hollow look in her eyes. She’s a woman of few words who goes about her duties in a zombie-like fashion, all while quietly observing the family and her surroundings. 

The story is told over the course of one evening from the point of view of Cadi. She watches and learns about residents of the house, including the two sons (Steffan Cennydd, Sion Alun Davies), one a drug addict and another a self-absorbed, chronic womanizer. Father Gwyn (Julian Lewis Jones) makes his money by ravishing the land with a mining operation, and the dinner party is set up as a means of convincing a neighbor to sell her unspoiled farm land so they can further their profitable enterprise. An ominous Welsh fable about a supernatural being is thrown into the mix, lending an unsettling creepiness to the tone of the story. 

The film has a deliberate pacing that some may find a bit slow, but if you pay close attention to what the camera sees, you’ll notice a lot of clues to the mystery. I promise if you stick with it, the film pays off tenfold.

Even cooler is that the film is performed entirely in Welsh (also known as Cymraeg), a dying language that is spoken by only about one million people today. It’s a novelty that doesn’t feel as such, and it adds an additional layer of distinction to the story.

“The Feast” is a bloody and gory tale of revenge and the supernatural. It’s confidently directed (by Lee Haven Jones), beautifully shot (with breathtaking cinematography by Bjørn Ståle Bratberg), and the scares are metered in a way that build a satisfying tension. It’s contemporary and scary, even if the film’s message is a tad bit heavy-handed.

By: Louisa Moore

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