Review in Brief: Happy New Year, Colin Burstead (2018)

The only implausible thing about Ben Wheatley’s latest jet-black dramedy is that any family would willingly submit to everyone being in the same location at the same time for anything other than a wedding or a funeral. We are sent drifting through this massive house, catching snippets of overlapping, interrupted conversations, the tail ends of arguments and bad blood aplenty bubbling to the surface. The semi-improvised or improvisation embellished script along with some particularly fraught moments helps the whole thing come across as real, and perhaps suggests COLIN BURSTEAD as an interesting double feature with Thomas Vinterberg’s FESTEN (you’d watch this one second as its if not more cheerful, certainly funnier). Everyone’s on their game and play off each other in a believably petty fashion, but Ben Wheatley’s lucky charm Neil Maskell (KILL LIST), Hayley Squires (I, DANIEL BLAKE) and the ever-reliable, and unusually vulnerable-feeling Charles Dance are undoubted highlights. SSP

About Sam Sewell-Peterson

Writer and film fanatic fond of black comedies, sci-fi, animation and films about dysfunctional families.
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