There’s something about great directors’ first movies that makes them really engaging. And that’s the case with this charming horror-comedy, Murder Party. Written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier, it offers something new and refreshing in the now somewhat formulaic subgenre. Saulnier would go on to direct two masterpieces in the following years, Blue Ruin and Green Room. And you can feel all that talent in this movie. The script is intelligent and the atmosphere engaging. The same goes for the phenomenal cast. Macon Blair would go on to work with Saulnier in the above-mentioned movies.
Right from the opening scene, you’ll be hooked and anxiously awaiting the next one to see what happens. You simply know that things are going to turn to shit rather quickly. This is something you get when we, the audience, know that this party Chris is going to is not going to be good. But he has no fucking clue and is heading towards doom gleefully. This contrast is one of many that will be featured here, so pay attention and see how many can you pick up on. Made by people who obviously love movies, you can also find many cool references like the name of the chainsaw of Ol Painless.
Halloween is always a fun time of year. Especially for Cristopher, a loner who accidentally stumbles upon the invitation for a killer party. He quickly assembles his cardboard costume of a knight and sets off to find the venue. However, he will soon realize that this is one very dangerous party.
I feel like Murder Party was a challenge or a dare. Mostly because it features so many cliches that you can’t help wondering how did it turn out so good. Not only everything is happening during one faithful Halloween Party but also the characters feel very familiar. I’m sure you’ve been to at least one costume party and can still remember that vibe. This brings us to the thing that made this movie what it is: Christopher S. Hawley. You immediately empathize with this guy and feel like you’re his friend.
We will be taken on this emotional journey while simultaneously laughing and enjoying some good carnage. The combination of slapstick and violence is always a winning one. Additionally, it will broaden the audience’s willingness to check out this movie, edged on by the premise and great poster. When you set up your story and characters right, you don’t need fancy gimmicks. You don’t need forced twists or dialogue. You just let the story unfold naturally, at its own pace, sit back and enjoy.
Director: Jeremy Saulnier
Writer: Jeremy Saulnier
Cast: Chris Sharp, Kate Porterfield, Puff Snooty, Macon Blair, Stacy Rock, Bill Tangradi