A Banquet



IMDb Rating 5.9 10 80

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
February 18, 2022 at 06:42 AM



Ruby Stokes as Isabelle
Kaine Zajaz as Dominic
892.15 MB
English 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 37 min
P/S counting...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ferguson-6 6 / 10

an ambitious film that slightly misfires

Greetings again from the darkness. For her first feature film, director Ruth Paxton tackles an ambitious story from writer Justin Bull. It's not an easy film to describe to someone who hasn't seen it, and it's even a bit of a challenge to have a discussion with anyone who has seen it. I'm not even sure whether to agree with the "horror" label, or if "psychological drama" is more accurate. It's all this uncertainty that keeps us watching the film, while also contributing to the dissatisfaction we feel at its conclusion.

Sienna Guillory stars as Holly, mother of two teenage daughters and caregiver to her very sick husband. The opening sequence shows the grizzly death that leaves Holly a widowed single mother. Betsey (Jessica Alexander) is fast-approaching college age and has a close relationship with her mother, while younger daughter Izzy (Ruby Stokes) is a developing ice skater who lives somewhat in the shadow of her big sister. This suburban family is rocked again when Betsey experiences an unexplained phenomenon under a blood moon after she drifts from the high school party she's attending.

Betsey's bizarre behavior goes far beyond the oddities we expect from teenagers. First of all, she refuses to eat. Not just vegetables, but anything. This goes on for weeks, and the most baffling part to mother Holly and the doctors (and viewers) is that Betsey doesn't lose weight. Despite multiple weigh-ins per day and zero food intake, she maintains a normal appearance. Betsey proclaims, "I'm not anorexic", and in our first clue, speaks of an impending cataclysmic event.

"It's coming" and "Not much longer" are the strange and vague predictions Betsey utters. All the while, Holly is doing what she can to help her daughter. Holly's mother June (Lindsay Duncan) arrives to offer advice and guidance, while Izzy is mostly left to her own devices as all attention is paid to mom's "special" daughter. The interaction between these four female characters crossing three generations is quite intriguing for us to watch unfold.

How do you fix something (or someone) when you don't know what the problem is? It's a frightening premise, and when it involves a teenager, it can glide into the horror realm. However, the film is overloaded with elements and possibilities: eating disorders, possession, exorcism, teenage body image, spiritual awakening, and even supernatural or alien presence. The film is so ambitious and always seems on the brink of entering the realm of excellence, yet it seems to fizzle at each crucial moment. When there is a break in the parent/child bond, the love and support of the parent is crucial, even if the ailment is a mystery.

Reviewed by morrison-dylan-fan 7 / 10

A Feast of Friends.

After a terrible two weeks of my grandmother suddenly passing away, and spending most of those two weeks ill in bed with a nasty flu. Speaking to a friend, he came up with the very good idea of brightening up my day, by sorting out tickets for a Film Fear festival screening at the HOME cinema in Manchester, which led to us sitting down for a meal.

View on the film:

Filled with a belief deep in her stomach that her body now serves a higher power, Jessica Alexander gives a harrowing performance as Betsey, whose eating disorder-style behavior has her become increasingly brittle,with Alexander having Betsey come more withdrawn with each attempt her family make to try get her to eat.

Reaching her hands out to support her daughter, Sienna Guillory gives a heart- wrenching turn as Holly, who watches with anguish Betsey fade away, as she grasps at every chance possible to save her.

Whilst chewing on Body Horror as Betsey stops eating after the hazy supernatural encounters make her believe that her body must serve a higher power, the screenplay by Justin Bull brilliantly places a focus on the psychological, rather then physical aspect of Body Horror, thanks to the intelligently written dialogue for Holly, who rather uniquely in the sub-genre, is fearful, but not horrified at the changes in Betsey, as Holly hugs her with supportive, compassionate empathy,when they sit for the banquet.

Reviewed by gillman11 7 / 10

Slow burning and very effective

After witnessing the death of her father, a young woman has a mysterious experience which leads her to believe that she is intended for a higher purpose.

Deliberately paced and slow burning, Ruth Paxton and Justin Bull's film manages to portray the existential horror without (too much) reliance on gross out or trope-ish apocalyptic imagery.

The slow burn unravelling of proceedings is sustained by smartly controlled filmmaking and excellent performances, particularly the double leads of Sienna Guillory and the extraordinary Jessica Alexander.

It's final scene feels a tad familiar but doesn't lessen the strength of what's gone before.

Well worth a look for admirers of films like Violation, Censor and Saint Maud or Von Triers mid period films, particularly Dogville and Melancholia.

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