Panic Fest 2023: Bury the Bride features a thrilling reveal
This story is part of our coverage of Panic Fest 2023. Read more from our film team here.
Spider One’s Allegoria was probably my favorite thing that I saw at Panic Fest last year, so I was excited to hear that Spider and writing partner Krsy Fox were bringing the world premiere of their next film to the Fest this year, even though this one didn’t sound as much like my specific thing as their previous effort. I saw it at a late show in a full auditorium with an enthusiastic audience.
Unfortunately for the spoiler-averse, Bury the Bride… buries (sorry, not sorry) its central premise, though there are plenty of hints for those on the lookout. The best way to experience it is probably without knowing its twists. However, it’s also a flick that’s almost impossible to talk about usefully without disclosing those turns. If you’d prefer to watch it cold, you should probably stop reading now and come back after it’s arrived on Tubi.
Still with me? OK, great.
The twist in Bury the Bride lurks in its one-sentence synopsis: “Bride-to-be June’s bachelorette getaway turns deadly when her bloodthirsty fiancé and his friends show up to crash the party.” When they say “bloodthirsty,” they mean it more than literally. The party crashers are more than just the gun-toting good-ol’-boys they first appear to be. They’re also vampires.
The film’s marketing has kept this to (obvious, with hindsight) hints rather than spelling it out. However, Bury the Bride doesn’t waste much time teasing the issue. The reveal, when it comes, is a fun one—more so, I’m sure, for those in the audience who won’t see it coming. I certainly heard some gasps and muttered exclamations in the theater when the moment arrived.
The vampire angle is nice and constructed around an interesting methodology for a resurrection that comes back around in the film’s final reel. Really, though, it’s just set dressing for what is ultimately a story about survival, friendship, and sisterhood, centered on lead performances from Fox and Scout Taylor-Compton, along with their trio of friends, played by several Allegoria alums.
If there’s any gripe to be had with Bury the Bride, it’s this: the sound mix is tough to take – ear-splittingly loud while also making it difficult to understand much of the dialogue. It’s a variation on a complaint that I’ve heard about a number of other recent movies, and I can only hope that they’re able to correct it somewhat before the movie is pushed out for wide release.