Screening as part of Mayhem Film Festival 2017 (October 12th-15th), which was also a preview screening as it didn't hit cinemas till the day after, Benjamin Barfoot's Double Date opened the festival on Thursday night. It was one of the films I was most looking forward to even though I couldn't attend the festival everyday this year. As normal for Mayhem, it was a cracking start to the proceedings!
The film follows Jim, (played by the writer Danny Morgan) a 29 year old virgin and his attempt at loosing his virginity right before he turns 30. Helping with this is the best friend Alex (Michael Socha). The fun begins as Jim gains the attention of two seemingly lovely ladies, Kitty (Kelly Wenham) and Lulu (Georgia Groome), although at the very beginning of the film we, as the audience, get to see otherwise.
Kitty and Lulu are sisters and are after something far more sinister than a just a date. With a comedy of errors from Jim, a slew of brilliant one liners from Alex, their evening goes from promising to down right violent as the sister try to bring back something from the past.
|From left to right: Kitty, Lulu, Alex, Jim.|
The main reason I was looking forward to this film is that at Mayhem, they always show quality British horror films. This was exactly what I wanted and I got it in spades. It's a very British comedy horror with all the typical humour, both dry and slapstick, we have come to expect.
Danny Morgan wrote an absolute gem of a script with the violence and bloodshed exquisitely complementing each other throughout. He did a pretty damn good job of acting too. In fact the whole cast are excellent and there wasn't any weak links at all. We're even treated to a cameo from Dexter Fletcher as Alex's dad. Michael Socha was hilarious and we were told in the Q&A session after the movie that he ad-libbed a lot of his lines. But it was Kelly Wenham that stole the show. Looking the part in every way, both bitchy and beautiful, going from lovable to psychotic in a split second, and as it turned out a pretty skilled fighter.
And that leads me perfectly to the fight scene between Kitty and Alex. Kelly Wenham trained her ass off for this role doing kickboxing and we were also told that Michael Socha has a background in Boxing. The fight they have is rather epic and can easily stand up on its own in any modern action film as it was that well choreographed and executed. I won't give away any spoilers, but I have to say that it wasn't some completely over the top unrealistic ass kicking like in the film Atomic Blonde where a 130lbs woman smashes blokes three times her size with poorly executed martial arts techniques. While Kitty's skills are well tuned, Alex uses his superior strength as a man... eventually. I commend both director Benjamin Barfoot and Danny Morgan for writing it, and pulling it off.
The film also had the added point of its score which was created by Swedish band, Goat. All in all, the direction, the writing, the acting was spot on along the some nice cinematography both outdoor and the inside club scenes.
|From left to right: Danny Morgan, Georgia Groome, Me, Benjamin Barfoot, Matt Wilkinson.|
As I mentioned, there was a Q&A session straight after the movie with the Director Benjamin Barfoot, Writer/Actor Danny Morgan, Actress Georgia Groome and Producer Matthew Wilkinson. You can watch that on my YouTube channel by clicking RIGHT HERE. While you're there, please subscribe to my channel. But I digress...
When thinking of British comedy horror, normally you'd probably think of Shaun of the Dead, but Double Date is at the other end of scale and would fit more with films like Severance (2006) and Dog Solders (2002) with it's use of humour, horror and gore FX. It's easily now in my favourite British horror film list. I highly recommend it!
DOUBLE DATE IS AN ABSOLUTE BLAST FROM START TO FINISH WITH A CLEVER SCRIPT & STAR QUALITY PERFORMANCES. ITS A PERFECT MIX OF HORROR & HUMOUR, DONE ONLY HOW THE BRITISH CAN DO IT!
|Double Date gets a well earned 5 Star|