Under the Radar
Here we have an overall strange independent comedy horror, centering on a sort of average loser type named Chris. On the eve of Halloween, he heads home from work and comes across a party invitation, fluttering by on the street. He picks it up, looks it through, and for whatever reason decides it's for him. I guess we're to assume that he's that desperate to make friends.
He gets home, prepares for the party and heads out to the address on the card. It turns out that the "party" is taking place in a very shady part of town within the confines of some industrial building. As Chris enters and announces himself, complete with pumpkin loaf, it's quickly revealed that he made a horrible mistake. It turns out that the invitation was bait for some poor sucker like himself, leading to a group of twisted art students. He was there only to be murdered for the sake of their art.
When it's all said and done, this is another horror comedy. However, despite it's funny moments, a lot of it unfortunately falls flat. There's just a couple of scenes here that make the film stop dead in it's tracks. Two big examples being a scene where the students inject themselves with truth serum, and sadly, the climax of the whole thing. The truth serum scene is a fair attempt to develop characters very quickly, but there was something about it that felt cheap. It was almost as if the movie crowbarred in the "confessions scene" from 'Breakfast Club'. The thing is, this was just a group I didn't find myself caring about at all. I honestly just wanted the movie to push forward. As for the climax - one long chase scene with various comedic obstacle that gets stale over time.
If I had to guess, I'd say this was first a student film, and it managed to make it's way through various festivals, developing a bit of a cult following, and good for it for making it this far. For me, though, this just left me sort of numb by the end of it. It's the sort of thing that, to me, is a neat enough idea - it just needs to be remade into something with a little more production value and editing. The director of this, Jeremy Saulnier, actually went on to do 'Green Room'. I didn't see it, but it's my understanding that it was well-received. So, perhaps if you enjoyed that, you'd enjoy this, just based on directorial style.
As I mentioned before, this film HAS managed to acquire a bit of a cult following. I actually stumbled on it's title while researching movies to watch for this Halloween Special of mine. It turns out that it's actually on quite a few "Halloween Movie Top 10" lists out there. So take my opinion with a grain of salt with this one, and check it out for yourself. It's still got some laughs, and some respectable makeup and practical effects, to it's credit.