Director: Karyn Kusama
Starring: Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman, Emayatzy Corinealdi, John Carroll Lynch. USA. 1h 39m
A dark and creepy movie with insipid atmosphere that will seep into the psyche not only of the characters involved also the audience.
A young couple Will (Logan Marshall-Green) and Kira (Emayatzy Corinealdi) travelling to an evening dinner party after receiving a lush invitation, en route they hit a coyote, which becomes trapped under the front tire and will has to take a tire iron and put the animal out of its misery,has there’s nothing you can do for it, this bloody prologue to this creepy movie is more poignant than you could ever imagine.
Eventually arrive at an lavish house in the suburbs and during the niceties the backstory unfolds through flashbacks. The house used to belong to Will and Eden, the hostess of the party, but after the loss of their son a couple split up to learn how to deal with the loss individually, Eden is now with her new partner, David who is also getting over the loss of his ex wife.
David is on edge upon arriving at the house and is certain that there is a more sinister reason as to why he, his new girlfriend and friends have been invited to this bizarre dinner party, makers take on a air of the macabre after Pruitt, a friend of Eden and David’s shows a video of his wife’s passing and tries to subtly introduce the group of friends to the cult which Eden and David have joined, assuring them it’s about love and light.
The movie is beautifully paced allowing little snippets of information to come forward slowly evolving and mystery into a thriller, coming from the perspective of Will, you’re given the opportunity to see things through his eyes while having the interpretation relayed via this group of smiling faces of Eden David in Pruitt. Who seem one step away from Jonestown, they find it easy to manipulate the dinner guest but no-ones pull the wool over Wills eyes, he notices everything and keeps himself sober and prepared at all times.
Power struggle ensues the rest of the movie will against everyone else to drive in to find out the truth around this bizarre ceremonial meal but for every hi all problem he finds there is always an answer. The atmosphere for the film is dark and mysterious leading to some chilling effects, you can see each character going through some form of doubt and having it wiped away by the grinning occultists but instantly another layer of nastiness follows.
Logan Marshall-Green handles this unusual role in his stride coming across convincingly adding lots of steps to a varied character, but the show is stolen by John Carroll Lynch who plays an emotionless mild mannered creep similar to roles that he plays in Fargo and Zodiac.
The small detailed cast of characters deepens this mystery as it already has given more possibilities and theories to savour in this small chamber style film which is intricately directed by Karyn Kusama who uses layer dialogue and lots of reflected images to map out the relationships conspiracy theories among the small group of eight people. The film anxiously develops into a predictable ending THEN it then takes it a step further into something a little more apocalyptic which is very unexpected, an intelligent and stylish thriller that works on so many different levels. A feast for the eyes that will have you pondering philosophically for days to come, or at least until sequel…
R – 10 little Indians (1965)
L – Dinner Parties, chamber films, films set in one house, cult flicks 5B – Logan Marshall-Green