Murder Party Review
Written by: jmh314
Sometimes a horror film comes along that is just so goofy you can’t help but have fun while watching it. The film Murder Party is a goofy film that I wanted to have fun with but couldn’t shake the boredom cobwebs for long enough to enjoy it. Its premise was in the right place, but its slow pacing and stretched out execution were just too much for this film to overcome and truly make an impression on me.
Murder Party opens to us an average nobody named Chris walking home to prepare for Halloween night. Strangely an invitation to a Halloween “Murder Party” blows to his feet. Once he gets home he prepares a candy dish for the trick-or-treaters and plans to enjoy the night by watching a horror. Chris has a sudden change in heart when he remembers the invitation to the murder party and hurriedly prepares a cardboard knight costume and heads on over to it.
Upon arriving at the remote location, Chris is greeted by a group of art students and their leader Alexander. Alexander is in charge of grant money for these students, and their plan is to kill Chris and let each artist capture the death in their own artistic style. They tie up Chris to prepare him for his murder, but leave him tied up for some time as they sit around and talk art, do drugs, and have some sex.
When the time is right, they decide Chris’s time is up but soon fight as to how his artistic death should be accomplished. Each art student begins to criticize one another and question the motives as to why they got involved in this murder party. Chris seizes the opportunity created by their fighting and develops thoughts of escaping. But can an everyday nerd like Chris find his way out of these ravenous artists before all hell breaks loose?
The premise of the movie really had me hoping for more than I got. Hosting a murder party where the object is really to murder someone for the sake of art seemed like the right way to go. However the storytelling drags on and on and the execution really bored me. They used this slow build to try and lead into something, then when the time comes to unleash this it seemed like they ran out of ideas and played it safe. The ending sequence just seemed like it stretched on for too long without a lot of real direction.
The characters were an interesting group but the art students eventually got on my nerves. They were just all so pretentious that I found myself not caring what their motives were behind coming to the murder party or what happened to them. You can only be entertained by a bunchy of whiny art school assholes for so long before they annoy the crap out of you. The main character Chris had a Napoleon Dynamite feel to him but really just added to the boredom of the films slow pacing. I laughed more at his character out of pity than out of comedic elements.
The directing by Jeremy Saulnier seemed to be trying to lead the film to this big climax but really loses itself at the end as it spins out of control. The uninteresting slow-burn beginning turns into a fast paced, wanna be shock filled ending that hits too quickly and doesn’t provide many good thrills. Also, the big climax feels too drawn out and seemed a little too improbable to enjoy it.
On a whole Murder Party is a film that really let me down. The premise was something different that I thought could be executed well, but it just seemed to drag. It’s almost like they wrote the beginning and the end and just winged the middle to fill time. There were a few entertaining aspects, most notably some of the innovative kills in the final act of the movie, but really I don’t think there were enough exciting moments to offset the slow boring build-up. Combining the lackluster pace with the ragtag group of dull and irritating characters made Murder Party a distressing ride that I would have turned off had I not wanted to see how the party came to an end.