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‘Unusual sound’ of Welsh language and ‘elegant visuals’ unnerve critics in horror film premiere

18 Mar 2021 2 minute read
Annes Elwy in ‘The Feast’

Welsh language film The Feast has opened to positive reviews in the United States, with critics praising its “confident” and “engrossing” plot and visuals.

The film, starring Nia Roberts and Julian Lewis Jones, and directed by Lee Haven Jones and produced by Roger Williams, premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival last night.

“The unusual sound of the language to non-Welsh ears — combining sing-song cadences with a clipped harshness — adds to the increasing strangeness of the accelerating mayhem,” Hollywood Reporter critic David Rooney said.

Despite describing the characters as “thinly drawn” he said that the “elegantly creepy visuals, solid acting, splashes of gore and the novelty of Welsh-language horror should hold the attention of genre lovers.”

The film, known as Gwledd in Welsh, unfolds over the course of one evening as a wealthy family gathers for a sumptuous dinner in their ostentatious but little-visited house in rural Wales.

But when a mysterious young woman arrives to be their waitress for the evening, the family’s lives begin to unravel with terrifying consequences.

Jessica Kiang of Variety said that the film was “designed as a critique of Glenda’s disdain, her casual snobbery toward the heritage and history of the farmland she grew up on”.

She adds that while “not the twisty-turny type of horror” it “builds to a final crescendo of comeuppance for these awful people that is grotesque, gory and grimly enjoyable”.

“But the direction is so confident and the craft so impeccable that “The Feast,” though built from few ingredients, fills you up like a three-course meal.”

Despite describing it as “regional British filmmaking”, Nikki Baughan of ScreenDaily also praises “performances [that] are as intriguingly off-kilter as the architecture”.

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