Following in the footsteps of recent horror-comedies "Would You Rather" and "Cheap Thrills," the grim "Gravy" gathers a bunch of familiar faces for a series of gross-out challenges and gory murders. Although a talented cast and crew keep this party lively, the lack of a point becomes a problem.
Michael Weston does his best Charlie Day impression as Anson, an upbeat man-child who every Halloween joins his smooth-talking brother Stef (Jimmi Simpson) and Stef's psychotic girlfriend, Mimi (Lily Cole), for an evening of games and gourmet eats. A dingy restaurant staff serves as their contestants — and their meat.
This year's unlucky winners are the denizens of an out-of-the-way L.A. Mexican restaurant, including kindhearted owner Chuy (Paul Rodriguez), sharp-witted bartender Kerry (Tony winner Sutton Foster), and surly security guard Winketta (Oscar nominee Gabourey Sidibe).
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The actors make the movie. Co-writer and director James Roday (a veteran character actor best known for his work on "Psych") supplies some snappy dialogue, but the sick premise would make "Gravy" hard to watch if not for such a likable set of players.
"Gravy" has some memorable lines and moments, such as the image of a blood-spattered, ax-wielding clown dancing down a hallway in slow motion to "La Bamba." But this ultimately seems little more than a lark for all involved, not a project with anything to say.
Strong ingredients, not much of a meal.