‘A Banquet’ Trailer: Mother-Daughter Bond Turns Apocalyptic in IFC Midnight Horror

‘A Banquet’ Trailer: Mother-Daughter Bond Turns Apocalyptic in IFC Midnight Horror

January 5, 2022

A mother-daughter bond takes a turn for the possessed and the apocalyptic in Scottish filmmaker Ruth Paxton’s feature directorial debut “A Banquet.” Originally a Toronto International Film Festival premiere in the Discovery section, this horror movie will release in select theaters and on digital platforms on February 18 from the genre folks at IFC Midnight. Exclusive to IndieWire, check out the official trailer for the film below.

Here’s the official synopsis, courtesy of IFC: “Widowed mother Holly (Sienna Guillory) is radically tested when her teenage daughter Betsey (Jessica Alexander) experiences a profound enlightenment and insists that her body is no longer her own, but in service to a higher power. Bound to her newfound faith, Betsey refuses to eat but loses no weight. In an agonizing dilemma, torn between love and fear, Holly is forced to confront the boundaries of her own beliefs.”

The cast of the film includes Sienna Guillory, Jessica Alexander, Ruby Stokes, Kaine Zajaz, and Lindsay Duncan. The film is written by Justin Bull. While this is Paxton’s feature directing debut, she has directed numerous shorts and episode of the Scottish TV series “River City.”

From IndieWire’s TIFF review: “While [‘A Banquet’] is not precisely a horror film, Paxton cleverly uses its expectations and ideas to build her story. It creeps, it chills, it gets under your skin, and though there may be nary a jump scare to be found, there are many scenes that happily hinge on the possibility that something (someone?) is just out of frame and ready to grab you. (Good luck getting through Isabelle’s many ice skating scenes without expecting something horrible to happen; skates are very sharp, don’t you know.) Mouths are everywhere, and close-ups of people eating, kissing, even getting their teeth cleaned, grate and worry and revolt. No wonder Betsey no longer wants to participate in any part of that, thank you very much.”

IndieWire’s own Kate Erbland added, “Both Guillory and Alexander come out swinging and never let up, while Stokes and Lindsay Duncan (who appears in the second half as Holly’s pissed-off mother June) gradually grow into their roles and emerge as the film’s MVPs. There’s not a bad turn in the bunch.”

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