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A lonely loser stumbles across an invitation to a “murder party”.

First feature from one of the best indie directors. Murder Party is an indie horror comedy from 2007 written and directed by Jeremy Saulnier who would of course go on to make the excellent thrillers Blue Ruin and Green Room. The set up to the film is pretty simple. It’s Halloween and a lonely loser finds an invitation to a murder party. The term “murder party” is a whole lot more literal than the lonely loser thinks, and he ends up held captive by a group of pretentious artists who plan to artistically murder him for grant money.

Murder Party is low budget, and I mean really low budget. It’s a true indie film made by a group of friends with extremely limited resources. Many of the actors in the film double as producers and vice versa. Most of the acting is not good, except from Macon Blair who is an absolute treasure. Most of the performances range from okay to weak, and one is downright awful, but that character is smartly removed from the film quite early on. The weak acting and bare-bones budget are noticeable and do hurt the film at times, but they add to the film’s overwhelming sense of charm.

Murder Party feels like exactly what it is, a film made by a group of friends, and this works both for and against the movie. Most of the cast and crew went to school together, and not film school, I’m talking high school, and even middle school. This group of friends had already been making home movies together for years and the fun they were clearly having on set carries across to the screen.

The film lacks polish in nearly all regards. Not all of the jokes work, in fact, a fair amount of them don’t, but there some great funny moments spread throughout. Some of the gore effects fall short as well, but there are actually a couple of good ones, a chainsaw through the face looks great, though it does go on a bit too long, but the special effects highlight is when a melted werewolf mask fuses with Macon Blair’s face. It genuinely looks fantastic, very impressive considering the budget.

For all its shortcomings, Murder Party is a ton of fun. It is unabashedly goofy and has a real injection of Halloween spirit. The pumpkins, the decorations, and the costumes, all give off a pure Halloween feel. You’ve got a cardboard knight, a werewolf, two vampires, Pris from Blade Runner, a Baseball Fury, and a ton of others.

It’s rough around the edges, but Murder Party is a great indie flick to watch on Halloween.


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Murder Party
3.5Overall Score
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