All My Friends Hate Me (2021)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Joseph Perry writes for the film websites Gruesome Magazine, The Scariest Things, Horror Fuel and Diabolique Magazine; for the film magazines Phantom of the Movies’ VideoScope and Drive-In Asylum; and for the pop culture websites When It Was Cool and Uphill Both Ways. He is also one of the hosts of When It Was Cool’s exclusive Uphill Both Ways podcast and can occasionally be heard as a cohost on Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era podcast.

U.K. comedy — with horror overtones — All My Friends Hate Me is chock full of dark, uncomfortable humor as a birthday party for thirtysomething Pete (Tom Stourton) thrown by friends he hasn’t seen since their university days grows increasingly uncomfortable. Pete has changed a bit from the posh pals he used to hang out with back at school, even eschewing a comfortable life for working with refugees, which no one in the group seems to want to hear about. 

Pete arrives to find the house where they are having the party empty, pretending that he had only arrived a short while ago when his friends come back from a pub hours after he actually showed up. With barbs and jabs being slung at a high rate from Pete’s ex-girlfriend Claire (Antonia Clarke), married couple Fig (Georgina Campbell) and George (Joshua McGuire), and intoxicated, gun-wielding Archie (Graham Dickson), along with Harry (Dustin Demri-Burns), a stranger the group met at the pub, Pete begins to wonder if his friends actually dislike or perhaps even hate him. Harry gleefully skewers Pete and writes down notes about the birthday boy’s behavior, and when Pete’s fiancée Sonia (Charly Clive) finally arrives at the shindig, Pete’s paranoia and suspicions only grow worse.

Director Andrew Gaynord, working from a script cowritten by Stourton and Tom Palmer, mines the nastiness for all its worth and shows a deft hand at cranking up the thriller vibe highlighted by the tension between Harry and Pete. The ensemble cast does a solid job of inhabiting their characters — none of whom are easy to warm up to — and Stourton nailing his turn as the psychologically flawed Pete, with Demri-Burns adding some delightfully devilish work.

Super presents All My Friends Hate Me in theaters from March 11 and on digital from March 25, 2022.

 

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