Hallo to the 6th year running of my little horrorthon! It’s close to 2am on technically the morning of the 2nd of October here in the UK, and I’ve been up since 4 am the previous day whence I did far more than 10,000 steps while shopping and catching up with a transatlantic friend who had a layover in London, so none of this entry will be readable.
But onto movie number 1 of the month of all things spooky!
A relic from the era of WAP internet on impossibly small flip phones, Murder Party  is a fun throwback to millenium-era splatter and making the most of truly indie filmmaking production values. Written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier, who would later go on to make the excellent Green Room, and starring the now-prolific writer-director-actor Macon Blair, this is a small movie, set in mostly one location, but efficiently paced amid buckets of inventive splatter and actual-laugh-out-loud humour.
The plot is thus: Christopher (played with sweet deadpan by Chris Sharp) is a loner who is a meek loner who is bossed around by his adorable cat, Sir Lancelot, who refuses to vacate his apartment’s only piece of sitting furniture. On October 31st, disappointed that his jack-o-lanterns have been kicked to crumbs, he comes across an all-black invitation letter to a ‘murder party’. And by ‘comes across’, I mean it literally blows on a breeze next to his shoe. It’s not really a proper invite. I would assume it’s some weird thing meant for someone else, or worse. I would not do what Chris does next, which is to make a costume out of a box containing an old Hallowe’en costume, bake some pumpkin bread from scratch, and brave the creatures of the night subway to go to a mysterious party in a neighbourhood that has high chain-link fences around every house. At the very least, I wouldn’t go alone.
Chris is initially welcomed at the party – in a dirty warehouse – by a group of college art students dressed in meh-level costumes, but that rapidly turns on its head when Chris is tied up and is explained to that he has just RSVPed to his own murder party. From there, the hapless, pretentious crew find their dynamic unravelling amid physical logistics issues, adventurous drug consumption and the general unpredictability that comes with the territory of aimless partying.
I shan’t spoil the proceedings, but it all makes for some bloody good fun, and the cheap special effects (bar one outstanding face) actually offers up its own B-movie charm while still maintaining the healthy level of dread from the slew of late ’90s slasher revivals. Definitely one to put on at a Hallowe’en party.