Director: Kristian Lariviere
Cast: Jennifer Allanson, Edith Landreville, Candice Lidstone
Production Company: Rivermen Productions
Runtime: 89 minutes
An arguably wise person once said, “party until we die”. I doubt this is exactly what they had in mind. Hens Night (2018) is an entertaining fright film that goes for the jugular long before last call. Director Kristian Lariviere is also known for Betting the Devil Your Head: Tales from Poe (2010).
In the movie, Jess (Jennifer Allanson) and her estranged cousin Laura (Edith Landreville) both happen to have bachelorette parties one week apart from each other. They have an argument at the first party, but Jess decides she still has to attend her cousin’s event. It’s a decision she will regret…
Many members of the cast have worked together in other films. Edith Landreville, Fiona Noakes, Andi Cooper, and Francko Edge all appeared in MonsterPool: Chapter Two (2016). Candice Lidstone and Sam Awwad were in Monster Pool: Seven Deadly Sins (2017). Jennifer Allanson and Emily Shanley were actually cast members in both of those films!
The characters all interact very naturally together. The film takes the time needed to fully develop each of their personalities, and their complicated relationships. There are many humorous moments in the first half of the film, which arise from their conversations.
Edith Landreville successfully delivers a complex performance in the role of Laura. She can be funny, sweet, and even endearing in some scenes, but can then be deeply disturbed in others. Despite her turn for the worse, she remains a pitiful creature.
The horror aspects of the movie don’t creep in for some time, but the tension between the characters is pretty thick right from the start. When the film finally embraces the darkness, it does so in a big way. At that point, things become gruesome, and even perverse in nature.
The story has a few unexpected twists that suddenly change the direction of the movie. You’ll know from the start that something is up, but you won’t necessarily see what’s coming. That’s probably why the earliest scenes still have tension, despite a lack of horror.
The lighting was also very important in setting the film’s atmosphere. Most of the scenes are brighly illuminated, and the colours in the film are extremely vibrant. I believe this choice helps to emphasize the festive ambience, even after things become unpleasant.
You’ll probably want to stick around until the end credits have rolled for one final laugh. That’s one of the most interesting things about this movie: you’ll find it funny until everything changes. Hens Night promises and evening that you will remember…
– John Migliore
For more information on the film, check out the links below…