Tribeca 2022: “Family Dinner” (2022)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Nothing can be better than a family gathering, lovely gourmet delicious food, and loved ones around. It is what matters especially during the holidays. Because there are no other places you would rather be in than home, isn’t it?

Simi (Nina Katlein) hopes to get some tips from her aunt Claudia (Pia Hierzegger) on how to lose calories. After all, Claudia has written a book about it, which Simi has studied thoroughly. Claudia, along with her partner (Michael Pink) and her son, Filipp (Alexander Sladek) are always enjoying yummy meals, a variety of meats, and overall, a very warm atmosphere. Things are spoiled by Filipp’s hostile attitude towards Simi. But Filipp is not the only one who acts strange and the young girl is soon to find out more about it.

Peter Hengl builds up an excellent and dark psychological thriller, which leans towards horror but more through the characters that deliver their part skillfully. We, as the audience, quickly realize something is off with the family. Yes, Filipp is an ordinary teenager with bad manners. Yet, he also tries to go with the flow and acts as if he has no other choice but to be who you see him. Simi admires aunt Claudia and is over the moon when the woman agrees to work on her diet and help her achieve her goal. But all that will become less priority for Simi because the sinister and dark secret is soon to unravel to take over the family that carefully constructed their idealistic lifestyle that was nothing else butjust a façade.

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