Monday, October 29, 2007


It’s Halloween, and Christopher S. Hawley (Chris Sharp) is all set for a night of horror DVDs, but Sir Lancelot (an incredible Puff Snooty) plays chair hog and refuses to budge. So our hapless hero decides to Project Runway himself a costume and show up at a “Murder Party,” an invitation to which he found out on the street.
Thus begins the largely amusing events of Jeremy Saulnier’s Murder Party.

As an exercise in low-budget horror, Murder Party hits more often than it misses, with particular strengths being its unpredictability, and aim to confound audience expectations.
Of course, the reality of a film that makes it a point to surprise is the distinct possibility that the viewer may not necessarily be crazy about the directions the narrative takes. (The “truth” sequence is one that I’m still half-half on.)

All in all though, Murder Party is an agreeable little film that hits most of its marks, and does manage to have some thrills and some laughs and take some shots at the Williamsburg art scene.
Hardcore horror geeks may find Murder Party’s gore quotient a little on the low side. They may also find it a tad too talky. But if you’ve been ‘round these parts before, you’ll know I like my horror in a broad range, and Murder Party, though perhaps uneven, is nonetheless an entertaining way to spend an hour and 20 minutes.

Parting shot: Murder Party nabbed the Best Narrative Feature Audience Award at this year’s Slamdance Film Festival, as well as the Best Feature Film at the Vail Film Festival.

Parting shot 2: For the perversely curious, Murder Party is the first title under the Magnet Films banner, a subsidiary of Magnolia Pictures for “wild, unquantifiable and uncompromised” films. Magnolia Pictures is owned by American billionaire and Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, who was recently booted off Dancing with the Stars.
Upcoming films under Magnet include Hitoshi Matsumoto’s Dainipponjin (Big Man Japan), Olivier Assayas’ Boarding Gate (starring terminally hot Asia Argento), and Tony Stone’s “heavy metal Viking epic,” Severed Ways.

(Murder Party OS courtesy of; image courtesy of

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