Delightfully decadent and disturbing Welsh horror film

The Feast is a deeply creepy Welsh film that uses the popular horror subgenre to deliver an insightful critique of consumerism, corruption and greed.

Without being too violent or bloody, Celebration offers viewers some of the most disturbing stills seen in a 2021 film. A Welsh horror film directed by Lee Haven Jones and written and produced by Roger Williams, Celebration is a humble, low-stakes affair that uses atmosphere and intimacy to create tension, inviting audiences into a world that may seem perfect, but is rotten below. Celebration is a deeply creepy Welsh film that uses the popular horror subgenre to deliver an insightful critique of consumerism, as well as a more nuanced – and frankly refreshing – take on the home invasion thriller.

Celebration has a deceptively simple premise: A wealthy family is hosting a dinner party at their quaint, remote home in rural Wales. However, the events of the evening get more and more bizarre, leading to a chaotic and visceral climax. Most of the conflict in the film stems from unsettling interactions between the five main characters. Glenda (Nia Roberts) is the host of the party, and her firm, cold demeanor reflects one who has grown cynical over time. She hires a mysterious young woman, Cadi (Annes Elwy), to help her prepare for the party. Husband, Gwyn (Julian Lewis Jones), is a man of power and influence who considers himself accustomed to doing whatever he wants, no matter what the consequences. Adult sons Gweirydd (Sion Alun Davies) and Guto (Steffan Cennydd) are two sides of a corrupt coin: one appears to be an honest and successful young man but hides a dark secret, while the other looks like a rebel and a stranger. , but is the least twisted member of the group.


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The audience spends the most time between Glenda and Cadi, hinting at similar natures. Their behavior and circumstances are very different, however, and the class division between Cadi and the wealthy family is one of the main themes of Celebration. When Cadi first arrives home – late, disheveled, and with no belongings (not even a car) – Glenda berates her and then immediately puts her to work, ignoring or willfully ignoring the signs that something untoward has happened to her. the young lady . Family members take turns “playing” with the hired helper, enjoying (whether they are aware of it or not) the power that their status confers upon them. For her part, Cadi reacts strangely to her situation, and it is her unusual behavior, as well as the uncomfortably claustrophobic atmosphere, that creates the film’s unease. Celebration is more disturbing than frightening, even if it has its moments of outright dread.

Celebration is an exceptionally vertical film, and in that regard echoes the early classic horror films that were so steeped in German expressionism. Dark and dramatic vertical lines are omnipresent in this film, intersecting at sharp points and creating a sense of violence, or at least conflict, in the domestic space. The house itself is a dark and ominous intrusion into the pastoral setting – its hopelessly modern aesthetic clashes with the peaceful, rolling meadows that surround it. The house looks out of place, much like Cadi herself – whose odd demeanor as the elite’s silent dinner watcher seems slightly intrusive. The family’s mining activity in the area is presented as an unwelcome violation of the land. Likewise, Cadi’s home exploration – not to mention tasting their food – is a growing disruption of their domestic space. Celebration sets up what appears to be a trap for Cadi, but gradually reverses the roles, revealing that the aristocrats have far less control than they foolishly believed.

The blood of the 2021 festival

Ultimately, the downfall of the family is their need to consume. The family – especially Glenda and Gwen – have a violent relationship with their decadent food and wine. There’s a photo of Glenda dropping seeds from a pomegranate that’s framed like a blood-splattered crime scene. Gwyn happily kills two rabbits, then throws the soft bodies onto a counter with a force that suggests utter contempt and disrespect for other living beings. Glenda methodically strips and mouths the rabbits, chopping off their heads with a slightly irritated look. The couple can live in the middle of nature in their house, but they lack a fundamental respect for the environment. Even son Guto complains about the neighborhood, lamenting to Cadi that he would rather be in town for drugs and parties. For his part, Gweirydd’s sins are much more subtle: his unnatural transgression involves past deviant behavior, as well as an obvious narcissistic obsession with his own physicality.

There are several references to selfishness and family corruption throughout Celebration – like repeated shots of the family lovingly looking into their own reflection, or Gwyn’s comment that he and his wife have amazing things “the thirst. ”Glenda and Gwyn are primarily driven by greed; even dinner is a ploy to manipulate guests into their own ends. It’s easy to look down on these people, which makes the supernatural twist all the more satisfying. slow-burning approach to thrills in Celebration will not satisfy all viewers, and there will be those who find the film dull if not too tame. Still, the gradual, frightening pace is a calculated strategy to organically build the aforementioned themes. The characters all feel real, which adds weight to their suffering (even if they are unsympathetic). Celebration is a brilliant indie horror that weaves fantasy and folklore into a thoughtful warning of disrespecting nature – a message that seems especially important to audiences today.

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Celebration hits theaters in North America and VOD on November 19, 2021 and lasts 93 minutes.

Our assessment:

3.5 out of 5 (Very good)

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