Murder Party

Before Jeremy Saulnier (Blue Ruin, Green Room) became the Krzysztof Kieślowski of thrillers, he made this micro-budgeter about a parking inspector (Chris Sharp) attending a Halloween party hosted by a group of artists even more pathetic than he is.

Where Blue Ruin and Green Room were bleak films with streaks of black humour, Saulnier’s debut is an all-out splatter comedy; an irreverent satire of modern art populated by desperate wannabes who’d literally kill for the approval of their patron (Sandy Barnett). It shares those later movies’ use of gore and Macon Blair, but the violence is silly rather than realistic. Even so it makes its point in a brashly fun way, like The Last Supper (the film) meets Art (the play).

Though not as tight or good-looking as his colour-named pictures, its interesting seeing Saulnier’s progression from Murder Party to True Detective‘s prestigious third season. He subverts expectation in ways his artist characters wish they could, furnishing them with sarcastically pretentious dialogue; “All the kids are doing it in Belarus.” It also features a cat, a dog and the most utterances of the word “dildo” outside of pornography, making these 80 minutes funnier and more in-tents than a Tracey Emin.

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