Film: Bitter Feast
Director: Joe Maggio
Writer: Joe Maggio
Starring: James Le Gros, Joshua Leonard and Amy Seimetz
This film begins showing us two boys; we learn later on that they are brothers. The older one comes off as kind of a bully. He forces the younger one, who is heavier to do what he is told. The older one is played by Owen Campbell and the other by Tobias Campbell. They play a game where Tobias is forced to run while Owen chases him.
We then shift to the present. We see the filming of cooking show called The Feast. The chef for it is James Le Gros. His co-host is a woman played by Megan Hilty. They do not get along and we learn that after the filming that Hilty is just there to make jokes and this makes Gros feel like his show is meaningless. He doesn’t care if she sticks or if she is replaced. He is informed though by an executive that without her the show will be canceled. The executive is played by John Speredakos.
Gros gets more bad news. He was given a bad review on a food blog and with the looming shut down of his television show, he has lost all of his endorsement deals and he is being fired as the chef of the restaurant. The man that tells shim this is played by Mario Batali.
We then meet the food critic, who is played by Joshua Leonard. He is home with his wife, played by Amy Seimetz. She is trying to talk to him, but Leonard is given her minimal attention. We learn that they had a child who died of cancer. Seimetz has been getting treatments to have another baby, but since the death, Leonard has shut down and doesn’t care about anything. This creates problems for their marriage.
The film also shows us the conclusion of what happened between the two boys. Owen tackles his younger brother and Tobias kills him with a stick to the throat.
We then learn that Tobias is Gros. He has created a plan to get his revenge for losing everything by kidnapping Leonard. Gros has a house in the country. He locks Leonard in the basement. The first day in captivity, Gros forces Leonard to go to get his own water from a creek. Leonard cannot drink from it until they get back. Leonard tries to escape by hitting Gros with the pail. He doesn’t get far when he hurts his leg. After a day without water, he does what he is asked and waits until the water is brought back to the house.
Gros goes on with his life like nothing is happening. He celebrates the end of his show and then meets a private investigator hired by Seimetz, he is played by Larry Fessenden. He notices the mud on Gros’ vehicle, but doesn’t get much more out of him.
Gros then begins to punish Leonard for the bad reviews. We also learn that Gros was the younger boy who will do what he has to protect himself and get revenge. Gros forces him to perform culinary challenges. The catch is that he reads reviews he did and makes him do what he claims the other cooks couldn’t do.
The first is to make an over-easy egg. He cracks the yolk as he flips it. He tries to eat it, but he is hit with the frying pan. The next is to make a perfect medium-rare steak. He overcooks it though. Leonard goes get back at him by biting his hand.
Will Leonard get away from this? Will Gros allow him to leave? Will Fessenden find Leonard before it is too late? Will Seimetz learn what is going on with her husband?
I have to say that this is an interesting horror film. I know how difficult taking criticism can be and it is hard to blame Gros for reacting how he did due to this review. This criticism legitimately helped destroy his career. I don’t know if it would necessary happen that way, but for the sake of the film it makes sense. Leonard really picked the wrong cook to deal with though, not knowing the lengths he would go. This film isn’t overly graphic and the punishments are bad, but not unrealistic.
The acting isn’t the greatest and that does hurt the film. I also did not feel for either main character and I didn’t care what happened in the end. I mean I felt bad that Gros’ career spirals out of control so quickly, but it is hard to hate Leonard because of what happened with his child. Now Leonard doesn’t need to ruin everyone else, because of how he feels, yet it does make sense though. The film was a little bit boring as well which also hurt its rating.
I would only recommend this film if this sounds good. It is not the best, but it does have a good concept that could happen. On a daily basis there are reviews of different things that could make someone as unstable as Gros to snap. The film does make both characters need sympathy, but for some reason it made me feel indifferent. The film was a little bit boring and that might have contributed to that as well. If this sounds good or you like low budget horror, I would recommend it. If you’re looking a good film, I would avoid this one.
My Rating: 5 out of 10