Feast (2005)

Put everything you know about monster movies in a box. Then seal up the box and chuck it out of the window, where Feast will be ready and waiting to jump up and down on it with steel-capped boots. Feast might, at first glance, look like just another people versus monsters movie; but it's funnier, scarier, and more inventive than anything else you'll have seen in a long, long while.

Set somewhere in the dusty, grimy Deep South, Feast spends its first five minutes introducing us to all its major players, each with a freeze-framed introduction. There's the grizzled old bartender; the useless, socially inept loser propping up the bar; a motivational speaker (played, awesomely, by Henry Rollins); the hot girl; the arrogant guy; Jason Mewes (played by Jason Mewes); a kid in a wheelchair; an old woman; a single mother and her kid... and probably some others, too. It's just another normal, depressing day on the poverty line when all of a sudden, the Hero (no, seriously, that's his character's name) runs into the bar and tells everyone that monsters are on their way.

And before you even have time to blink, he's killed by said monsters. He's quickly succeeded by the Heroine, but in a movie where even the innocent, wide-eyed kid isn't safe, how long can she possibly hold out? And what happens to a horror movie when you kill off all the heroic-types right at the beginning, leaving only the cannon-fodder to muddle their way through?

No matter how many movies of this type you've watched, you're unlikely to be able to pick out the survivors using any means other than a lucky guess. (Though things do settle down a bit in the final third.) The rapid fire action, combined with some truly horrible gore and every possible body fluid, means you never know what's going to happen. Ever. The monsters are unrelenting and deeply nasty-looking: the film doesn't give you many chances to get a very good look at them, but they appear to be about 50% teeth and 50% slime. Ewww. And these aren't monsters you can outrun or outsmart. There's no rhyme or reason to them - they just want to eat people. Which is pretty scary.

Feast is a pretty interesting movie for reasons outside of its actual content. For one thing, it's the product of the third season of Project Greenlight, a reality TV show searching for the next great filmmaker. The general critical reaction to it seems to have been negative - maybe because it missed its target, gorehound audience? - but it's great, which means at least one good thing has come out of reality TV. And for another, the guys who wrote Feast also wrote the screenplay for Saw IV. Can a couple of rookie filmmakers breathe new life into the most tired and played-out of all the horror franchises? Well, if Feast is anything to go by, then, yes, they probably can. Didn't see that coming.

IMDB link


Ron said...

Not only is it probably the best season of Project Greenlight, it also yielded the most interesting-looking movie. I'll definitely have to check it out, as I've heard great things.

'Coma said...

I've wanted to see this movie since I first saw Project Greenlight.
I thought I would like it.
I also have this weird obsession of naming my next dog Gulager just because I think it would be a groovy name.