Feast is a low budget horror movie in which a remote redneck bar in Nevada, comes under siege from a group of carnivorous desert dwelling beasts. It’s hardly an original story but as always, the devil is in the detail. Where Feast differs from other similar films is that it offers you all the stereotypical characters and tropes that you expect to find in such a genre movie and then goes in completely in the opposite direction. The film is competently directed by John Gulager in a very contemporary style, with fast edits, deliberately obtuse protagonists and a liberal dose of gallows humour. Once the premise has been set, Feast does not waste a moment of its ninety-minute running time.
Feast takes a novel approach to its plot exposition. As we’re introduced to each character, there’s a freeze frame and a brief biography appears onscreen along with their projected life expectancy. This innovative approach is deliberately misleading and it’s not long before several cinematic sacred cows are profaned. Our hero is quickly defenestrated and decapitated and an “innocent” child also meets an unpleasant end. Subsequently, there are further amusing plot twists where characters behave contrary to genre convention. One individual who manages to reach a truck in the bar car park, does not return for their comrades but simply drives off.
It is this clever approach to its subject matter that makes Feast enjoyable and superior genre product. The cast (including Henry Rollins and Clu Gulager) are better than expected (and possibly what the movies deserves) but there are few characters that you feel sympathy for. Yet because of their erratic behaviour and flagrant disregard for horror movies tropes, you are kept involved. The marauding creatures are kept suitably off screen for a lot of the film. They wear dead animal skins and bones which also masks their appearance. Obviously, this is mainly due to budgetary reasons, but it also keeps them somewhat enigmatic. Exactly what they are and where they come from is left unanswered.
I watched a US unrated version of the film which contains a few extra seconds of violence here and there. Overall, this is a visceral horror movie containing eyeball violence, maggots, monster vomit, castration and a lot worse. It’s not intended for the casual viewer. However, what keeps Feast above average is its knowing contradiction of audience expectations and tongue in-cheek approach. The script was selected via the amateur filmmaking documentary series Project Greenlight. The producers include Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Sean Bailey, and Chris Moore. As ever with the horror genre, the movie was far from a critical success but made sufficient money to generate two sequels. Feast makes for superior Friday night viewing and is therefore recommend purely as such.