Initially Published Here
Writer/director Joe Maggio is trying for something a little subtler than your standard straight-to-video slasher flick. He’s created a quiet, contemplative feel for Bitter Feast, a horror film centered on an unstable chef sent over the edge by a contemptuous food blogger. Reading that sentence should give you some sense of why “quiet and contemplative” isn’t exactly going to cut it here. He’s wound up fashioning a film that’s neither scary nor gory enough for horror fans, but with precious little depth and substance for the rest of us. I’d say the acting is thin, but Maggio’s script doesn’t give the performers much to work with in the first place. Motivations are sketched out clumsily and ultimately abandoned to a silly chase through the woods we’ve all seen one too many times. There are some interesting ideas about trying to teach the critic some empathy for his subjects, but these are then weakly resolved: something to do with cooking the perfect over easy egg with your hands tied together.
The DVD does a nice job of conveying some conventially pretty DV photography. The disc includes the ubiquitous commentary track as well as the “alternate ending” which is more traditionally happy than the one included in the film. Guess we’re supposed to find the director’s choice more gutsy, but neither could have saved this rather dull exercise.