Feast (The Project Greenlight Movie) (2006)

30 Mar

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Smith’s Verdict: *1/2

Reviewed by Tanner Smith

“Feast” was the third (and final) film to be made out of competition for the “Project Greenlight” contest, which if you recall was sponsored by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Chris Moore as a contest for screenwriting and directing (amateur filmmakers get to make a film for Miramax, or in this case, Dimension Films). And also if you recall, any film that gets made for “Project Greenlight” is documented by a camera crew for the reality-TV series, aptly titled “Project Greenlight.” I would have loved to see that series to see what the making of “Feast” was like, because it was probably more fun and interesting than the actual film itself.

“Feast” is a mess. I know what it’s trying to be—a self-aware horror film that wittingly makes fun of itself. And while I can’t deny that some parts are kind of fun in a recognizing sort of way, the rest of the movie is very dumb, quite weak, and sometimes disgusting without the proper humor to offset it.

The movie starts out promisingly—we’re introduced to an entire group of stereotypical characters in a bar out in the middle of nowhere. With each person introduced, we’re given a helpful pause and caption. The caption states that person’s stereotype (Bozo, Beer Guy, even Jason Mewes, who plays…Jason Mewes), “fun facts” (“About to rob the bar in 20 minutes”), and of course, “life expectancy” because it’s obvious this bar is about to be subjected to a monster attack. (For example, when the film introduces a wheelchair-bound young man, dubbed “Hot Wheels,” his Life Expectancy is: “They wouldn’t kill a cripple, would they?”) What’s great about this opening, and these captions introducing these stereotypes, is that it’s ironic. This is how we would predict their “life expectancies” to turn out. And then, the Hero busts into the bar, with a monster head, and warns everyone that there are some vicious, nasty, hungry beasts coming this way, and he’s “the one that’s gonna save your ass.” And wouldn’t you know it—he’s the first victim of the monsters when they arrive immediately, so the movie can make way for the Heroine; hopefully, she does a better job than the Hero.

And so, you have the group of ne’er-do-wells banding together to stand and fight off the attacking creatures and survive the night. And…yeah, that’s about it, plain and simple. While I couldn’t begin to guess anymore who was going to live and who was going to die, the humor continued to fall flat with jokes about stereotypes that go on for far too long and sell out their welcome. By the end of the movie, I just didn’t care much for the horror-comedy aspects because if the film itself didn’t care much for where it was going, other than to keep padding to the story, I shouldn’t either. You have to wonder if the director John Gulager (son of Clu, who plays the Bartender) actually knew he was making a bad horror movie. There are no scares (the best horror-comedies have scares to offset to the humor) and hardly any suspense because let’s face it, who truly cares about these people since they’re mainly just walking punchlines for the script?

Also, most of the action is inexplicable. Why? Because those sequences are cut so quickly it’s hard to make out what’s going on. I guess it’s meant to keep the creatures obscure until the final act, when you can see them a little better. But it’s hard to feel tense and on-edge when the cinematography is blurred and the editing is too quick.

The actors do what they can with their roles, the creatures (when you actually see them) are admittedly suitable H.R. Giger designs, and a few jokes and visual gags work. But “Feast” is not much fun, nor is it very memorable, and it needed further study of its genre. I noticed that Wes Craven was credited as “Executive Producer”—what the film really needed was Kevin Williamson to bring the script some of the wit brought to the “Scream” movies.

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