IFC Midnight generally has the horror goods, and the distributor is starting the year right with “A Banquet,” a new nightmarish family psychodrama from newcomer Ruth Paxton who makes her feature-length debut with this film. The film was an official selection title at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, received major acclaim and it stars Sienna Guillory (known for “Resident Evil,” “Helen of Troy,” and “Stan Lee’s Lucky Man”), Jessica Alexander, Ruby Stokes, and Lindsay Duncan.
Here’s the official synopsis
Widowed mother Holly (Sienna Guillory) is radically tested when her teenage daughter Betsey (Jessica Alexander) experiences a profound enlightenment and insists that her body is no longer her own, but in service to a higher power. Bound to her newfound faith, Betsey refuses to eat but loses no weight. In an agonizing dilemma, torn between love and fear, Holly is forced to confront the boundaries of her own beliefs.
A BANQUET is Ruth Paxton’s debut feature, a psychological horror produced by Tea Shop Productions and Riverstone Pictures. The film is represented by HanWay Films, and was recently acquired by IFC Films for North America. It was selected for the Great 8 showcase at Cannes Marche presented by BFI, BBC Films and the British Council, and will have its World Premiere at Toronto International Film Festival 2021, in the Discovery section.
Director Ruth Paxton is a Scottish filmmaker who graduated in 2007 with an MA in Film and TV from Screen Academy Scotland having gained her honours degree at Edinburgh College of Art. Her award-winning shorts have been exhibited and nominated in competition at numerous international events and prominent film festivals. In 2019 Screen Daily featured her as one of ‘Six emerging Scotland based Directors you need to know.’
“A Banquet” Opens in select theaters, and on digital platforms and VOD on February 18. Watch the new trailer below.