Year of Release - 2005
Rating - R
Director – John Gulager
Running Time – 95 Minutes
Studio – Dimension Films
[mid]0426459[/mid]A troubled film spawned from an even more troubled TV series can only spell one thing: Feast – the final season Project Greenlight winner. Dimension decided to give Feast a small theatrical run before its Halloween premiere on DVD, which in retrospect is probably a smart idea – keeping it small.
A group of strangers assembled in a hick town bar are forced to band together and ‘batten down the hatches’ when a horde of bloodthirsty creatures invade their personal space. Who or what these creatures are is of little importance (we’re never given any info on origin or purpose); however we are given more than enough info on each of the indispensable characters that inhabit this dive (freeze frame snap shots are not nearly as clever as the director would like you to think). Call it tongue and cheek or Tarantino-esque, but I’ll call it by its real name, failed horror comedy. Although to be fair, Feast is really just a hit or miss affair, with more misses than hits.
My issues with Feast are not rooted in the fact that it treads familiar water and runs a clichéd course. I can dig horror for the sake of horror as much as the next person, which is by and large what Feast is all about. It’s meant to be sometimes funny, sometimes scary, and sometimes gory – and to never take itself too seriously. This much I get. However, technically the film is very difficult to watch and in turn, enjoy. Scenes are dark and poorly lit but not in a “We were aiming to achieve an atmospheric look” kind of way, it’s more like a “We forgot to unload the lights off of the truck before we rolled the cameras” kind of way. The film is shot super wide yet most of the action is caught in close up, center frame. This technique is often used to create a more claustrophobic feel, but in Feast , it seems like a mistake and doesn’t work. To make matters even worse, most of the kills are given some sort of sped up washed out effect that can only have been dreamed of for one of two reasons. Either the filmmakers thought it to be a wise artistic choice or an unfortunate necessity to hide their flaws. Either way, it’s very difficult to watch.
Placed in more capable hands we’d likely have another Evil Dead, Night of the Living Dead or (to a much lesser degree) maybe even a From Dusk Till Dawn. But instead what we wind up with is a bland imitation.
Unabashed horror with deep rooted social commentary it ain’t. (Barely) 90-minutes of sped up blood splatter and somewhat competent creature action ‘tis. It’s too short to be spiritually fulfilling and too long to be wholly entertaining. Caught on home video, full frame with the brightness on your TV turned way up – it may not be so bad.