Absinthe (2012 film)
|Directed by||Justin Thomas Billings|
|Produced by||Justin Thomas Billings|
|Written by||Justin Thomas Billings|
Shot in found footage mockumentary style in two locations located near the Lake of the Ozarks, the film is about a group of college graduates that celebrate an engagement party at a relative's lake house, captured as 'real footage' on a video camera, with the actors themselves serving as cinematographers. Although the film is inspired by the real murders committed by Jean Lanfray, the actual story in the film is fictional. The film took one month to write, eight days to shoot, and one month to edit.
To celebrate the recent engagement of Conor (Austin Lyon) and Roxy (Lexy Roth), eight friends travel to the Lake of the Ozarks to stay the weekend. Brooklyn (Alicia Leanne), Roxy's best friend, arrives with her boyfriend Sid (Tim Sauerwein) and several bags of alcohol to get the party started. Conor, using a new video camera, records everything taking place until his old college roommate Mitch (Justin Thomas Billings) arrives and takes over recording. Friends Natalia (Alli Dyer), Jimmy (Tyler Morgan), and Charlee (Kendall Ryan) attend the party as well. Sometime during the party, Charlee stumbles upon an old bottle of absinthe in the freezer, a surprise to Roxy who does not believe her stepfather (who owns the house) drinks absinthe. Brooklyn insists they should not drink it because of the legendary hallucinogenic rumors behind the alcohol, but Charlee and Jimmy are able to persuade everyone to go through with it. Soon afterward, the guests begin to experience the effects of the drink and engage in strange behaviors. Chaos ensues when Charlee is found with a stab wound and that the cell phones are mysteriously missing. Things escalate when Jimmy, paranoid and intoxicated, locates two revolvers from the basement. The rest of the night spirals out of control as each guest begins to fall under the influence of the absinthe and turn violent towards one another. The next morning, local authorities discover that all but one of the guests are dead. They also discover the tape from the video camera, which they use to explain the mysterious events that took place.
- Austin Lyon as Conor Young
- Lexy Roth as Roxy King
- Justin Thomas Billings as Mitch Kennedy
- Alli Dyer as Natalia Medina
- Alicia Leanne as Brooklyn Walsh
- Tyler Morgan as Jimmy Daniels
- Tim Sauerwein as Sid Harris
- Kendall Ryan as Charlee Gallagher
Absinthe has garnered favorable to mixed reviews between critics and the public. Dread Central praised the film by commenting on its "slick and unique" approach to found footage filmmaking. The British blog Horror Cult Films enjoys the film's target to "delve into what can happen if you drink the stuff." However, there has been widespread backlash on the film's portrayal of the drink. Many absinthe connoisseurs and experts have criticized the film, commenting that it depicts the drink in a negative light and some even believe it "could prove worrisome to the absinthe industry, even with it being a small scale production." One critic exclaimed that the filmmakers "could have swapped out all the booze with meth and it would have been closer to reality."
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