Watching Resolution: “Murder Party” (2007)

9. A trashy movie: Murder Party (2007)

List Progress: 9/12 (+3)

I watched this movie the day after Halloween, but it still definitely was in the spooky spirit. This low-budget 2007 horror-comedy has a delightfully absurd set-up: a lonely man named Christopher follows an invitation to the titular Murder Party on Halloween night, only to find five art students ready to commit an actual killing. See, they have all been promised by wealthy patron Alexander that if they artistically murder a stranger for his pleasure, he will give them huge amounts of grant money to pursue their own projects. Thus the battle is on, not just to kill Christopher, but for who can kill Christopher the best.

Murder Party was released in 2007 by director Jeremy Saulnier and production team The Lab of Madness. Looking through the credits, you see a large number of repeated names (people working in multiple cast and production capacities) and matching surnames (family members working or helping out). This film was made on a budget of $190,000 and the price tag shows, but not in a bad way. People’s apartments, lives, and Halloween costumes all look like something you would genuinely see on the street, not a glitzy recreation. And technical limitations force the majority of the film to zoom in on the art students themselves, comedy being derived from their inflated senses of themselves and their grand visions, as well as their incompetence. Most of the movie takes place in the warehouse where the Murder Party is taking place, with characters talking and bouncing off of each other until the settings are perfect to make their “art”.

There is a strong tendency towards low-brow humor, lots of drugs and sex and bodily functions, but they are well-constructed and well-excecuted jokes, with some great planting and pay-off. The characters are engaging enough that you want to spend time with them, but not so loveable that you are bothered seeing them killed off: a perfect balance in a horror movie. The cast does a great job and has a lot of chemistry even through their bickering and backbiting. Christopher, played by Chris Sharp, in particular brings a lot of care to a character who spends a long amount of time gagged and tied to a chair.

There is gore. There is definitely gore in a movie with the tagline “Everybody Dies!”. But it is largely in the schlock-horror style with geysers of blood and spatter, rather than realistic and disturbing, so I had no problem with it. If you can handle some blood and are in the mood for a very well-made dumb movie, I would recommend this one for a night with a friend.

Would I Recommend It: Yes.

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