MURDER PARTY is a great little Independent Horror entry, even if it does play off of obvious homages and borrowed techniques. A clueless do-gooder finds an invitation to a "Murder Party" on Halloween, but he realizes he should have passed when the invitation turns out to be all too literal. The group of pretentious art students he stumbles upon tie him up and argue over how they plan to kill him in the name of art. The strength of the film lies in the hilarious physical humor played out through the subtle character nuances, particularly those of our hero knight. Audience members will immediately recall the various Halloween costumes of the antagonists that are borrowed from classics like BLADE RUNNER and THE WARRIORS, and there are many clever quips that Horror and SciFi geeks will giggle over. After a steady build, the final act is soaked in several gory deaths, complete with chainsaws, decapitations, and beatings. The small warehouse setting feels much more expansive due to the close shots and angled framing. Though the knight has minimal dialogue, his few lines are smart and very funny, and his character is played out through his facial expressions. Much of the dialogue between the other characters can feel forced at times, but there is still plenty of fun to be had. While it draws from many superior films, director Jeremy Saulnier has taken all the right notes and turned them into a sharp and brutal little Horror Comedy that is sure to please any genre fan.
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