Haddonfield Halloween – Murder Party Review

Murder Party, an independent horror/comedy, written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier begins promising enough with an 80’s throwback feel to it. The movie opens on Halloween day where Chris, our lovable nerd of a protagonist, is walking home. A mysterious invitation to a Halloween party lands, literally, at his feet. Rather than finding this a tad suspicious, Chris goes home, makes himself a super awesome costume out of cardboard boxes, makes some pumpkin bread and heads out to this party. Little does he know, this party is being thrown by a group of “artists” whose only intention is to murder him for the sake of their art.

In a random Brooklyn warehouse, a rag tag group of artists are dressed up and waiting for their party guest. When Chris arrives, with pumpkin bread, they are surprised and in no way ready for the night’s festivities. Chris spends most of the evening taped to a chair while these artists have “deep” conversations and squabble over how to best murder Chris for their extreme art project. 

There is a lot of talking and being very clever, cynical and sarcastic while Chris just sits there taped to the chair. As the alcohol and drugs finally begin to take their toll and cause disagreements among the group, Chris sees his moment and escapes. This is when the movie finally becomes engaging. Up to this point, I was keeping track of how many times the word “dildo” was used (7).

Now that something is happening, the movie is a fun horror comedy. The “chase” scenes and kill scenes are all fun and done well. The tagline of the film is “Everybody dies…” and this is a pretty good summation of the movie. There is an exceptionally fun chainsaw death and a visit to an extreme art party that is wonderfully snarky in tone.

Murder Party is a bit slow to start and bit full of it’s own clever humor, but once the horror part of the horror comedy kicks in, it’s a fun and funny ride.

-Lisa Fremont

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