Thursday, November 15, 2007

Murder Party

It’s been a pretty good year for me so far as getting decent straight to DVD horror movies. Much better than I did last year, at least, Barricade notwithstanding. This one succeeds in a somewhat different way than most of its straight-to-DVD brethren, however, by being an outright comedy that’s only vaguely pretending at being a horror film.

The film takes place on Halloween night, as an unbearably nerdy man receives a mail flyer inviting him to attend a murder party, and, cardboard knight costume on, ventures forth into the night, where he is promptly captured by a gang of loser goths who plan to videotape his death so they can win grant money from a supreme rich goth looking for artists. Of course, given that he’s been captured by a pack of short bussers, things quickly go awry and the body count starts to rise unexpectedly quickly. There’s quite a few good twists and turns along the way that I wouldn’t dream of revealing, and it climaxes with a near brilliant chase scene through the rooftops and an art gallery.

It doesn’t quite achieve the level of comedic brilliance that other horror comedies like Shaun of the Dead or Evil Dead 2 manage, but it’s consistently funny all the way through, and is crafted well enough to know to go for broke at the end. There have been a lot of quality comedies this year, and this film is a worthy addition to the pile. It’s writer-director Jeremy Saulnier’s first film, and I’m quite eager to see how he follows it up. The man shows a good deal of potential.

Rating: ***

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