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).
“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.
No MPAA rating
Running time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Playing: Laemmle’s NoHo 7, North Hollywood