Murder Party Review
Written by: rerj73
The New York art scene is a killer, according to the film Murder Party. When an underachieving city employee comes into possession of an invite to a Halloween party, he finds himself at the mercy of artists trying to create a new form of expression... by murdering him.
Chris, our hero, spends much of the film gagged and chained, observing the conversations and infighting of a group of nouveau artistes, all of whom sit in awe of the enigmatic Alexander. Throughout the film, we see how drug-fueled antics don't always have the results one would expect.
I don't want to spoil more than that for viewers of the film. Made on what one would imagine would be a shoestring budget, Murder Party manages to elevate itself above the simple genre clones by having something to say. This is both the strength and weakness of the film, as the satire the film embraces weighs it down in the second act. The first half hour, however, is engaging, truly funny and manages to tread the line between playful sadism and wit. Unfortunately, the center does not hold, and the movie becomes too self-aware and makes a few too many winks at the audience.
The end manages to bring most of the joy back, if not completely, and ends with a sly art exhibit finale that, while obvious, is still very enjoyable.
The acting is superior to most indie films in the genre, and the effects range between adequate and somewhat inspired. I have to admit going into this film with some degree of skepticism, but I was disarmed by the genuine laughs the film generated. There may have never been a funnier still shot of a cat ever recorded on film. The one glaring irritation is the repetitive, often over-synthesized music that took me out of the film on several occasions, most notably during a rooftop chase that would have been far more thrilling with a different score.
While not perfect, Murder party is a worthwhile entry into a genre, made by filmmakers with wit and a knowledge of the horror canon. Look for some nods to Carpenter and Kubrick, grab some candy corn, and plod through the slower moments for an experience that is well worth the run time.