Friday, 13 December 2013

Feast (2005)

Horror movies have a set of very recognisable tropes. So do romantic comedies, of course (tropes I generally find just as troublesome as those of horror films, in fact), but for whatever reason it tends to be horror that attracts meta-textual films: works that acknowledge, satirize or subvert those tropes: we're talking films like Scream, Cabin in the Woods and Pandemonium. This is another such effort.

How well does it work? Well, honestly, I think it's at its weakest when it is being most obviously meta. The text boxes when every character is introduced, for instance, which list their traits and survival chances. These do allow the film-makers to introduce characters very rapidly, and they're occasionally amusing, but they really underline that the situation is fictional, and they often come across as trying a bit too hard. Also, the fact is that much of the information they provide could - and often is - revealed in a few lines of dialogue.

Anyway, plot-wise we're talking a Night of the Living Dead style situation: a group of people with varied beliefs and personalities, besieged in an isolated location far from help. Rather than a pack of zombies, however, the enemy here is a small group of monsters: fast, strong and cunning. When Feast plays the siege straight - which it does for much of its run - it's an effective film, with some decently tense sections, and some good action set pieces. However, it does tend to stop from time to insert allegedly comedic elements, and these are much more uneven in quality. Much of the stuff with Henry Rollins character is pretty well done, for instance, but the several "the monsters are horny" sections vary from merely asinine to, well ... rape's not funny, no matter what this movie seems to think.

The missteps are a shame, because 80% of this film is a pretty well done horror flick.

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