Ruth Paxton’s disquieting domestic chiller finds a grieving family torn apart by a teenager daughter who believes her body is being taken over.
Holly (Sienna Guillory) and her daughters Betsey (Jessica Alexander) and Isabelle (Ruby Stokes) are still grieving the recent death of their husband and father when Betsey has a strange experience at a party. Standing before a blood red moon, she becomes convinced she is possessed. Initially, the only change in her character is her unwillingness to eat. She even becomes violent when forced to consume food. Although medical experts see nothing wrong and she experiences no dramatic loss in weight, Betsey’s behaviour becomes increasingly extreme. Holly feels helpless, but her mother June (Lindsay Duncan) believes a fault line has afflicted the whole family.
Casting an unnerving spell with her evocative imagery, Paxton makes the most of a semi-rural location to play out her body horror. As with last year’s equally effective Relic, A Banquet convinces by blurring the line between reality and the characters’ imaginations. Is Betsey really possessed? Or is June right? And which is worse?