The Feast arrives in cinemas nationwide on August 19th.
Beware the powers that lie dormant beneath your feet, as when disturbed, these powers will stop at nothing to protect the earth. Combining eco-horror with a sharp dissection of financial inequality and privilege, The Feast is Lee Haven Jones’ (Doctor Who) feature debut in the director’s chair, and it’s one hell of a creepy meal. Set in the rolling Welsh hills, while beautifully embracing the Welsh language, The Feast takes many of its cues from classic blood-soaked folk horror. However, there is also a sprinkling of science fiction to be found here as a strange otherworldly visitor invades the home of a wealthy Welsh family who has betrayed the land they inhabit.
READ MORE: THE BOYS FROM COUNTY HELL
Local MP Gwyn (Julian Lewis Jones) and his wife Glenda (Nia Roberts) are social climbers, their once thriving farm now a cold, modernist symbol of their wealth thanks to their developer friend (Rhodri Meilir). However, their wealth is a mere cover for a cacophony of secrets from their recovering drug addict younger son, Guto (Steffan Cennydd), to their oldest son Gweirydd (Sion Alun Davies), whose fitness-obsessed behaviour includes eating raw meat. To say this family is dysfunctional is an understatement; their public image at odds with their private behaviour. Having already raped the land they own, today is the day they plan to convince their farmer neighbour (Lisa Palfrey) to give up her land for the gas extraction that has made them so wealthy.
The setting for this business-related ambush will be the family home, and Glenda has recruited a local girl Cadi (Annes Elwy), to help with the dinner party preparation. But is Cadi all she first appears to be?
THE FEAST (2021) PICTUREHOUSE ENTERTAINMENT
From the outset, Lee Haven Jones’ The Feast makes it clear that a storm is brewing in the picturesque Welsh countryside, incrementally ratcheting up the tension and mystery as Cadi explores the house and the dysfunctional family at its core. Here Samuel Sim’s masterful score and the creeping camerawork of Bjørn Ståle Bratberg combine with the sterile modernity of the house to help create a sense of impending doom. As we journey through the long oppressive corridors of the house, there are echoes of Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala’s work as the architecture becomes a character in its own right.
READ MORE: GOODNIGHT MOMMY
Of course, we know this tension and oppressive atmosphere must lead to a haunting finale. But nothing can prepare you for the sheer horror of the final act, as the dinner party transforms into a feast of gore and terror. Several themes circle The Feast, from inequality to snobbery and secrets and lies; however, at its heart, this is an eco-horror that explores these broader themes through a lens of environmental destruction and human greed. Here Lee Haven Jones’ film feels like a classic revenge horror, as the raped soil under the family’s feet seeks retribution during a dinner party from hell.
Several themes circle The Feast, from inequality to snobbery, secrets and lies; however, at its heart, this is an eco-horror that explores these broader themes through a lens of environmental destruction and human greed.