Watch A Banquet
- 1 hr 37 min
A Banquet from 2021 is a horror period piece set in 17th century England that follows the story of an affluent Puritan family, led by their matriarch, Margaret (played by Sienna Guillory), who seem to have it all - wealth, status, and a picture-perfect family. However, as the story progresses, it becomes clear that beneath the polished exterior, lies a web of secrets, lies and a mysterious force that threatens to destroy them all. The movie opens with Margaret's daughter, Ann (played by Jessica Alexander), being banished from their home for engaging in what they deem as "sinful" activities. Desperately seeking forgiveness and acceptance from her family, Ann seeks the help of a powerful witch, Alice (played by Ruby Stokes), whom she believes can help her regain her family's favor. Margaret, who's obsessed with maintaining her family's image in the eyes of the community, reluctantly agrees to bring Alice into their home and throws a lavish banquet to impress their guests. What follows is a night of decadence, indulgence, and gruesome horror that leaves the family forever changed. A Banquet is a visually stunning movie, with the stunning English countryside serving as the perfect backdrop for the film's hauntingly beautiful set pieces. The somber color palette and the meticulous attention to detail in the costumes and set design evoke a sense of foreboding that sets the tone for the film's macabre tale. At the core of the film is Sienna Guillory's powerful performance as Margaret, a woman who is equal parts ruthless and vulnerable. Guillory's steely portrayal of Margaret is a masterclass in nuance - her quiet moments of contemplation are as unnerving as her outbursts of anger. Jessica Alexander's turn as Ann is equally impressive. Her character's journey from a pariah to a woman with agency is captivating, and Alexander plays it with a mix of poignancy and strength that makes Ann one of the standout characters. Ruby Stokes, who plays Alice, brings a touch of otherworldly enchantment to the film, her piercing gaze and ethereal presence making her character all the more intriguing. The movie's horror elements aren't for the faint-hearted. Director Ruth Paxton employs gruesome and visceral visuals to drive home the film's themes of morality, sin and the darkness that resides within us all. A Banquet is a chilling tale that stays with you long after the credits have rolled. At its core, it's a story about the dangers of denying one's humanity in the pursuit of false perfection. It's a reminder that the demons we face are often the ones we create ourselves, and that no amount of propriety can hide the true nature of our souls.