Movie : The Dinner Party
Director : Jennifer A Davis
One must be afraid of her own thoughts. They often lead to places that are dangerous and repugnant.
The story is about four girls who are excited to celebrate a party at one of their places. They have made all the arrangements. For example they have arranged for alcohol, made a lovely looking cake and brought ingredients to make pizza. They are in a mood for prolonged mirth as they engage in light banter joking around with each other. It is evident that one of them is an avid reader who also confesses that cakes are her weakness, another a lover of alcohol and Sarah , a lover of horror flicks. As they start preparing the pizza they begin discussing the film they would watch together. Sarah suggests that they must watch a horror movie. They start revealing the movies they have brought with themselves to watch. Just before that Sarah tries hard to convince her friends that she is really not afraid of ghosts. As they get busy in the conversation about the movies they completely forget about the pizza which is burnt already. In the subsequent chaos Sarah’s hits the door of the refrigerator and the occurences post the incident spiral down the dark alleys of Sarah’s psyche.
Like Hitchcock’s Vertigo the film can be divided in two parts. One representing the conscious and the other, the mysterious unconscious of Sarah. She finds herself to be an active part of all the movies she and her friends were recently talking about just before the accident. Sarah finds herself in a vivid number of locations both eerie and desolate meeting characters on either side of the binary compass (good and bad, light and dark). The common factor being the shrieks coming out of her genuine trepidations. She realises that she is afraid of ghosts after all. Something she was probably aware of yet deliberately running away from.
The movie is well supported by impeccable performances from the cast. One can’t help but be mesmerised by the performance of Brianna Gentilella as Sarah.
The director pays a tribute to horror classics like Psycho and A quiet place (a more recent one) by Alfred Hitchcock and John Krasinski respectively. The director pays a homage to the horror films of the past through the movies discussed by the characters.
An interesting thing to note about the occurences gyrating around Sarah is the presence of the apple.
The apple (Sarah’s favourite) serves as the only link between reality and Sarah’s presumed hallucinations. She is plagued by the memories she is obsessed with.
The themes surround the regularity of horror in the mundane life of individuals in an absurd world.
The theme of the uncanny plays a major part in the movie. The fear arising out of the peculiar appearances of regular objects.
The technical aspects enhance the quality of narration and the suspense is held firmly till the last scene making The Dinner party a thrilling tale of horror.
The movie ends in an ambiguous way where it is not clear if at all Sarah was hallucinating as they (Sarah and her friends) fall victim to the person (presumably evil) from the movie Colorado (something they wanted to watch) disguised as the pizza delivery guy. The director impeccably erases the line between imagination and reality leaving the viewers in an eternal limbo. The question being : Is everything in the movie designed in the form of a dream within a dream?