The Feast is one of the most interesting horror movies in years. An atmospheric thriller spoken completely in Welsh, the film is about an affluent family who has invited their neighbors over for dinner. The plan is talk about land rights and making money, but the quiet waitress hired for the night causes things to take a drastic turn.
Sound is an incredibly important part of the film. There is almost complete silence most of the time. The sounds of nature and an exercise bike fill the air in The Feast. When there are louder noises, they shock the audience. It has a disturbing effect. Though the more boisterous effects are from everyday sources, they still seem like a huge interruption.
The Welsh language is perfect for The Feast. Since less than 20% of Wales speaks Welsh on a daily basis, it is not heard often in the media. Initially, it will throw the audience off as it is not just a foreign language for many, it will be one that is completely unknown. Even in the film’s most ordinary moments, there is an otherworldly feel.
Along with the sound, the setting also keeps people watching off balance. The entire film takes place over the course of one day in the beautiful Welsh countryside. Even in the inevitability of progress cannot take away from the lush fields and picturesque cottages. Quite simply, it is gorgeous. Despite this idyllic quality, there is a constant sense of dread.
Adding to the uncertainty of the surroundings are the characters of The Feast. Everything just seems a little bit off about each person. This is normal for these types of films, but here there is an undercurrent of indifference. While everyone has a motivation, it is to the exclusion of the outside world. Again, everything about the manor seems to be shut off from society at large.
The story is engaging from its opening moments. While it would be correct to call it a slow burn, there is a different feel to The Feast. Every moment adds something to the characters or the setting. It does a fantastic job of building the tension while also maintaining an odd sense of urgency. This all leads to a harrowing final act that will stay with anyone who sees it.
Horror movies like The Feast do not come around often. Methodical horrors have been around for decades, but few are executed as well. The story touches on themes of class, identity, tradition, and the environment. The characters, setting, story, and even the language all come together to deliver a terrific tale that will not soon be forgotten.
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