Saw a nice blurb about this movie in the NY Times the other day, as recommended Halloween fare. And I was not disappointed. The set up: it's Christmas and a loving family of five in the English countryside has invited the young couple down the road to join them for a festive dinner. We're only past the starters when the the physical mayhem and psychological terror begin! Apparently this is a super-low budget movie. I thought it was more of a professional production, so kudos to the producers!. Every minute raises more questions, and creates more suspense, and mystery. And now that I think about it, the writers raise some pretty serious, and yeah, sometimes superficial, questions about life and relationships and the randomness, capriciousness of evil. My feel throughout: what horrible, surprising thing is going to happen next? How will that 1960s-era cabinet TV play into things? The paring knife and the chaotic attempt by the guest to chop an onion? What does the empty antique train symbolize on its journey to the end of the line? And the partridges that the family's patriarch just killed? It reminds me of another, and even more disturbing Christmas day British horror/ sci-fi: 2016's Await Further Instructions. It has the same cramped, claustrophobic feel -- why do British homes have such small rooms? -- and the same family-with-secrets undertones. Sort of a kitchen sink drama meshed with Twilight Zone or Black Mirror. I give it an 8. Minus two stars for some plot holes worthy of a teen slasher movie. And the acting can be hammy at times -- deliciously so, and campy occasionally -- but again this is apparently a semi-pro production. Well worth the Amazon charge and my hour and 48 minutes.
A family fall victim to a series of violent murders when they invite their neighbours over for Xmas dinner.
October 12, 2020