(THE FEAST, 93 mins, Piccadilly Circus, Corner of Great Windmill Street and, Shaftesbury Ave, London W1D 7DH, United Kingdom, Release Date :19 Aug 2022 Certificate: 18
Director: Lee Haven Jones
Starring: Julian Lewis Jones, Lisa Palfrey, Anne Elwy, Nia Roberts, Steffan Cennydd, Sion Alun Davies, Rhodri Meilir)
A family gathers at their lavish contemporary home made of glass and steel in the Welsh mountains. They've little idea of what awaits them. The matriarch is hosting a dinner party with her politician husband on behalf of a businessman hoping to buy land in the area for mineral mining. Hosted at their luxurious new house, the family have a valuable mining venture at stake and the atmosphere is tense. Unbeknown to them the owners of a neighboring farm are the only other guests and will be charmed into selling parcels of their farmland. The family’s two adult sons are reluctant dinner party guests. One is a London hipster struggling with addiction issues and the other is a doctor training for an ironman event.
The family’s values and beliefs are challenged by the arrival of the young woman they've hired to act as waitress for the evening. She brings a quiet, unsettling presence to the evening. Her presence forces the characters to face their shortcomings and question their relationship with the land they claim to belong to. And as the night progresses, she soon begins to challenge the family’s beliefs, unravelling the illusion they’ve created with slow, deliberate, and terrifying consequences. Cadi’s (Annes Elwy) influence grows in strength and the family’s behavior becomes increasingly extreme until they face the horror of what they represent and tragedy changes everything forever.
On the face of it "The Feast" is a supernatural revenge horror that delivers all the thrills and spills that audiences expect of a genre film, the relentless slow burn of intrigue and suspense, the blood and gore. But as a cinematic piece it also functions on the level of parable. An allegory of sorts, it's a contemporary morality tale about the importance of being true to yourself and your community, and offers a stark warning against the consequences of greed and avarice. Rooted in the potent mythical tales of Wales where women are made of flowers and transform into animals, the film is singularly Welsh in tone but also universal in theme. Elucidating what Camille Paglia would refer to as the age-old battle between Culture and Nature, the film charts the struggle between those values that give structure and form to the world that Glenda (Nia Roberts) and Gwyn (Julian Lewis Jones) nhabit, society, wealth, progress, and the indiscriminate forces of nature as embodied by Cadi that challenge this world order. Moreover, thematically the film is preoccupied with the increasingly urgent issue of environmental sustainability, exploring how humankind exploits the land and abuses the earth. An environmental horror film with an eye to the ticking-clock of climate crisis.
"The Feast's" horrifying, blood-soaked conclusion suggests that our fragile planet will sooner or later take revenge on humanity for the devastation we have caused. A meditation on family and history, greed and responsibility, identity and difference, the film intends to offer the viewer an intravenous injection of mood. Bringing together forensic performances, searing cinematography, a spine-tingling score and environmental politics. "The Feast" is a striking addition to the horror genre and a compelling piece of work that aims to blister the imagination and prick the conscience. Considering the film in it's context as a contemporary Welsh-language film, it also becomes a tale of the individual’s responsibility to tradition, history and a language that exists against the odds despite sharing a land border with England whose language has colonised large swathes of the world. Many who are unfamiliar with Wales will be unaware of the language’s existence but to those who know of the fragile cultural and linguistic ecosystem that exists in our small nation the film speaks keenly of the individual’s responsibility to sustaining a culture and language in the age of globalisation.