Posted on Wednesday, August 18th, 2021 by
Lee Haven Jones‘ debut film The Feast premiered at the 2021 SXSW film festival and received several positive reviews. Today, IFC Midnight announced that they picked up the North American rights to the Welsh-language eco-horror film, a treat for genre fans just in time for Thanksgiving.
Directed by Lee Haven Jones and written by Roger Williams, The Feast is a slow-burn horror film that serves up a hefty amount of dread. The film’s press release describes it as:
“a slow burn meditation on history and tradition, greed and responsibility, identity and difference. The Feast is a contemporary morality tale that questions who is truly meant to inherit the earth, permeated with a mounting sense of dread that leads to a horrifying, blood-soaked conclusion.”
Annes Elwy stars as Cadi, a quiet and reserved young woman hired to cater a small dinner party at a lavish home in the remote countryside of Whales. The home is owned by wealthy socialites Gwyn (Julian Lewis Jones) and Glenda (Nia Roberts), who live with their sons Gweirydd (Sion Alun Davies) and Guto (Steffan Cennydd). Cadi is tasked with conventional hostess responsibilities such as preparing courses, bussing the table, keeping the wine glasses full, and being present but simultaneously invisible so as to not interrupt the gathering. The night veers into new territory with the arrival of the guests. Business partner Euros (Rhodri Meilir) begins a discussion about buying residential land for industrial drilling sites while their neighbor Mair (Lisa Palfrey) cautiously brings up local legends about an entity that dwells under the land where the family wants to develop.
/Film contributor Matt Donatothe film at SXSW and stated that this particular eco-horror film is:
“one seared around the edges as not to let (plentiful) juices escape and served with a side of classism that has corrupted idyllic landscapes by inviting abusers who wish to destroy the very planet we inhabit with their greed, consumerism, and generally malicious environmental disregard.”
Food for Thought
The world is literally on fire, so it makes sense that we’re seeing an increase in eco-horror films lately. I caught The Feast during SXSW and loved it. I went in totally blind and thoroughly enjoyed how raw and ravenous its stylistic and thematic approach is. Its visual technique is almost on par with Darren Aronofsky‘s Mother!, only more psychedelic and gruesome.
The quiet and reserved approach reminded me of First Reformed’s take on climate change. There isn’t a religious subtext in The Feast, at least to my knowledge but perhaps some viewers can find a metaphor there that I may have missed due to my lack of religious upbringing. However, I do love the folklore aspect. The film’s commentary on consumption, greed, and destruction is also impressively executed. I left satisfied and definitely look forward to more films from Jones. November is also the perfect release date not only because of the film’s setting and plot, but The Feast is an apt movie to discuss around the dinner table with family members and friends.
The Feast hits select theaters, digital, and VOD on November 19, 2021
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