THE FEAST (REVIEW)
Dir. Lee Haven Jones
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
THE FEAST is a Welsh language folk horror film and ties into a trio of films in 2022 that deals with food as a synonym for something much grander. Alongside THE MENU and A BANQUET, THE FEAST provides a beautiful tray of fruits to devour, and it's depth is down to the taster.
When a well to do family hire an assistant for a feast they are preparing, tensions rise as their money driven motives strike against their naturally beautiful and secluded natural land. Living in a Grand Designs-esque monolith, their wealth and persona clash vividly with the farmland and quiet nature that surrounds them.
This explains much of the slow burning tension the film manages to crank up before a final act of blood thirsty carnage.
It's no surprise that the films tectonic plates run against each other but it's a very abstract and subtle reveals that the true nature of what is unfolding comes to light. As such, it's not always obvious until moments after the events it becomes apparent. The choice to give assistant Cadi (Anne's Alwry) a near but not quite mute alienation gives the game away a little easy yet as the film slowly unravels itself, the strange behaviors of those around her feel often conflicting and confusing in their motive.
Like eating out at a fine restaurant, THE FEAST delivers something delicious, good to look at and enough substance to keep talking about it, yet at the same time it feels a little less unique and after waiting a significant amount of time to get something to chew on, doesn't quite leave with a tip.
Themes of class have been done edgier (THE MENU) and eco horror was so 2021 (IN THIS EARTH, GAIA) and to top it all, the ambiguity surrounding the unsympathetic family was captured much better in Ruth Paxton's A BANQUET. Yet despite this, there's still something to enjoy about Lee Haven Jones doom ridden evening and it's culmination.