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The Dinner Party

USA 2020
produced by
James Victor Bulian, Miles Doleac, Lindsay Anne Williams, Wesley O'Mary, John Lawrence Doleac (executive) for Historia Films, Artist Vodka Films
directed by Miles Doleac
starring Bill Sage, Miles Doleac, Alli Hart, Lindsay Anne Williams, Sawandi Wilson, Mike Mayhall, Kamille McCuin, Sherri Eakin, Rachel Ryals, Jeremy London, Ritchie Montgomery, Judyth Daley, Joseph VanZandt, Hollis Ellzey
written by Michael Donovan Horn, Miles Doleac music by Clifton Hyde

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Jeff (Mike Mayhall) is a moderately successful playwright on the lookout for an investor for his next play - so when frivulously rich surgeon Carmine (Bill Sage) invites him and his lovely wife Haley (Alli Hart) for dinner he sees his big break. Of course, the two didn't expect that the dinner was apart from them only attended by Carmine's inner circle - Vincent (Miles Doleac), Sadie (Lindsay Anne Williams), Sebastian (Sawandi Wilson) and Agatha (Kamille McCuin) -, all eccentrics with egotistical and childish streaks, and while Jeff tells Haley to keep her mouth shut and let him do the talking he soon finds himself out of a league with the group's discussions about opera, mostly, while Haley's quicker to warm up to the conversation, as the group is quick to warm up to her, and soon she starts to reveal stories about her traumatic childhood, much to the dismay of Jeff, who feels above all sidetracked ... and then he passes out and Carmine's friends are quick to slit his throat and kill him while keeping Haley from interfering by tieing her up. Now apparently Carmine and company are a group of Devil-worshipping cannibals who enjoy immunity as they have paid off the law (as Haley has to notice upon an escape attempt), and who take pleasure in mentally breaking Haley in any way they can, which includes eating her husband before her very eyes. But even if she might not look it, Haley's a fighter, and she still has lots of spunk in her - but will spunk alone suffice to save her when being outnumbered and tied up ...


The Dinner Party sure is a mean film - and I mean that in the best possible way: It's not so much what's suggested and shown in the film as such though (and there sure are more explicit/gross movies about cannibalism but the slowburn build-up to it, with all the underlying dread, that's really what makes the movie so unnerving. Plus, the very "cultured" atmosphere stands in rather delicious contrast to the horrors of the piece, with its menace masked in "classy" dialogue - all of which makes the actual outbreak of all the horrors all the more exquisite, and that said the rather unexpected (yet narratively logical) third act of the piece sure packs a bunch. Now add to all of this a pretty strong ensemble revolving around a compelling central performance by Alli Hart, who manages to combine the necessary innocence with quite some spunk rather beautifully, and you've got a pretty unusual but in a good way very unnerving movie that sure deserves a watch.


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD