All is not well in a gray Welsh countryside, if we’re to trust the plinking strings that open the preview for IFC Midnight’s The Feast.
“My parents are so intense. That’s why they come here: To kill innocent creatures,” Steffan Cennydd as Guto says to Annes Elwy as Cadi in the preview.
Helmed by first-time feature director Lee Haven Jones (Doctor Who) and written by Roger Williams, The Feast is a Welsh-language film set on a large estate in the southern British countryside. The isolated vibe is already pretty creepy up there, so it’s not a huge surprise that, when the family who lives there hires a new cook, Cadi, things get quite a bit gory.
The film made a bloody splash at the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year, and it is set to open in theaters and on video on demand on Nov. 19.
IFC Midnight acquired the North American rights to the Welsh-language supernatural revenge horror film in April.
Rooted in potent Welsh myth and fables, The Feast unfolds over the course of a single evening as a wealthy family gathers at their lavish home in the remote Welsh mountains for a dinner party. Set to host a local businessman and neighboring farmer to broker a business deal to mine the surrounding countryside, a mysterious young woman arrives to be the evening’s kitchen help and server.
An almost silent Cadi pervades the preview, her silent mien challenging the family’s values and motivation for being in the countryside. As her presence grows from scornful to outright disturbing, the family’s lives begin to unravel — slowly, deliberately, and with terrifying, gruesome consequences.
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The slow burn narrative meditation on history and tradition, greed and responsibility, identity and difference, turns into a contemporary morality tale. The Feast questions who is truly meant to inherit the earth, and arrives at deadly answers.
“It’s hard to shake the sense of fear and apprehension that you feel while watching The Feast, a terrifying and twisted fable that will keep you on the very edge of your seat until the shocking, Grand-Guignol-worthy finale,” President of IFC Films Arianna Bocco said in a press release.
Filmed in the Welsh language, The Feast captured U.S. and international critics at its world premiere as a Midnighters entry at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival.
In the trailer, Williams keeps things to a chilly pace, with Cadi offering only an intense stare as the couple indulges in hunting small woodland creatures. Things descend into bedlam in the second half — gross food preparation, faces ripping food from plates, characters doubling with wrenching guts, beheadings, and bloody mayhem — as Samuel Sim’s intriguing, atmospheric score keeps the viewers’ attention squirming and on the hook.
“What will be left?” Cadi whispers at the end.
According to this action, it doesn’t look it’s going to be The Feast’s human characters.