Lee Haven Jones makes the transition from the small screen to the big one for his feature film debut, a nasty little horror ditty that brings new meaning to the phrase “eat the rich.” Forget the cornucopia, the non-traditional centerpiece here is the mysterious servant Cadi (Annes Elwy) who comes in clutch to help a socialite family prepare a dinner party. Before reaching its ravenous climax, the film bides its time giving the viewer plenty of reasons to develop a callous attitude toward the miscreant family.

Now that you’ve had your fill of turkey, green bean casserole, and those delicious rolls, give thanks that you weren’t invited to the dinner party hosted by family matriarch Glenda (Nia Roberts), an Andy Cohen fembot who seems to be auditioning for the Bravo network hoping they expand abroad for a show whose title ends in “…of Wales.”

When wet-haired Cadi shows up at the modern country home as a replacement for the MIA hired help, she’s whisked inside and put to work immediately (credentials what?) by Glenda. As time goes by it becomes evident that the pale wide-eyed temp whose gaze fluctuates between wonderment and disgust may not be from the agency. She listens intently but never speaks, whispering to the artwork doesn’t count, her silence becoming her strength.

No birds on tonight’s menu, just a couple of rabbits courtesy of Gwyn (Julian Lewis Jones) the corrupt politician head of household, a modern-day Viking who still believes in the age-old P&P tradition (Pillage and Plunder). Well, Viking may be too strong a word for Gwyn who lets Glenda handle the skinning of the rabbits while he relaxes, metrosexual hair intact, waiting for the guests to arrive.

Now that we’ve met the parents, let’s meet the kids, as in adult brothers Guto (Steffan Cennydd) and Gweirydd (Sion Alun Davies) who act as though they’ve never seen a female outside their mother once Cadi enters the home. BTW, she comes off as completely normal compared to these two guys, despite the fact that she uses her lady parts as a receptacle when she’s told to clean up a mess in the driveway. Did I mention it’s a broken wine bottle? Yikes!

Guto is a brooding musician with a bad drug habit while Gweirydd is into wearing plunging unitards, manscaping, and touching himself. Now that you have a good idea of the family we’re dealing with let’s move on to the night’s guests.

First to arrive is family friend/businessman Euros (Rhodri Meilir) who becomes instantly vile when he chastises Cadi for taking a break just after stepping out of the car. Oops, he drops that expensive bottle of wine in the driveway, Karma. But, have no fear Cadi’s vajayjay is here to clean up the mess.

The only seemingly normal person in the bunch is neighboring farmer Mair (Lisa Palfrey) unaware that she’s the target for a scheme being cooked up by Euros with the family’s help. It isn’t enough to make most of these characters unlikeable, writer Roger Williams adds an environmental theme to reinforce how bad these people are.

“The Feast” is a slow burner broken into chapters that serves up little appetizers of terror along the way to the repulsive main course that should appease horror fans with a stomach for gore. Frights are non-existent, yet a nice supernatural element enters the fold once the discussion turns to a piece of sacred land called The Rise. When Mair reveals a shocking twist to Glenda in the final act, the film goes to 11 and all bets are off. Now somebody, please pass the gravy.

(3 stars)

Now showing in theaters and available on-demand

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Joe Friar

Member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Latino Entertainment Journalists Association (LEJA), the Houston Film Critics Society, and a Rotten Tomatoes approved critic.

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