“#Incredibly Disturbing and Darkly Funny”
The Dinner Party follows aspiring playwright Jeff Duncan (Mike Mayhall) and his wife Haley (Alli Hart), as the two attend a private party with the hopes of advancing Jeff’s career. When they arrive, they meet an assortment of eccentric party hosts: Sebastian (Sawandi Wilson), Carmine (Bill Sage), Sadie (Lindsay Anne Williams), Agatha (Kamille McCuin), and Vincent (Doleac). Mallrats star Jeremy London is also featured in flashback scenes as a relative of one of the lead characters.
Right away, the movie establishes that carnage is soon to come, as a flash-forward scene at the beginning gives viewers a taste of the bloodshed. This leaves a foreboding feeling as the story progresses, and even Haley picks up pretty quickly that something feels off about these people. For his part, her husband can only see potential dollar signs, choosing to ignore the red flags so they can focus on dinner. Unfortunately for them, they’ll soon enough learn of the others’ true plans for them, and things get very dark very quickly.
A lot of credit must be given to the actors here, as each of the characters are very unique with the way each of them are portrayed. While those hosting the party are all similarly sinister, they each have their own motivations, goals, and perversions. Alli Hart particularly shines as Haley, who’s clearly the most relatable character in a movie that’s filled with complete psychopaths. There are many rather revolting moments in the movie, and the way Hart is able to believably express her horror and disgust makes it very easy to feel her pain.
I did have a few select qualms, although they were rather minor and didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the movie. Sometimes, characters make incredibly baffling decisions, but this is certainly nothing new for horror movies as longtime fans of the genre will know. I was also not overly thrilled with the ending, as there’s a certain revelation that comes near the end that was a little hard for me to swallow. Still, I can appreciate the unexpected turns taken in the story, and while it’s obvious from the start that the folks at the dinner party are bad news, I was never able to guess what was coming next, leading all the way up to the very end of the movie.
Incredibly disturbing yet darkly funny, this movie is a delicious treat that’s one of the best horror movies to arrive in 2020. It’s very well-acted with many interesting characters and a compelling storyline, making The Dinner Party is tons of fun and just as bloody as it is amusing. I would highly recommend it for horror fans looking for something fun to watch this weekend. The Dinner Party will be available on DVD and On Demand on June 5, courtesy of Uncork’d Entertainment. You can watch the official trailer below.
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