Holly is a young widow, trying to keep her family afloat when her oldest daughter falls prey to a mysterious illness. The girl refuses food and water for days, then months. As Holly searches for answers through modern-day medicine, her daughter begins to share visions of an impending apocalypse.
And while her daughter discovers a newfound sense of faith-inspired purpose through this ordeal, Holly is forced to choose between embracing the known or leaping into the unknowable.
A few years ago, I stumbled upon an article about a woman named Betsey Hayes who lived in Chester, New York during the late 19th century. Betsey, it turned out, would be my introduction to a long, engrossing history of "Fasting Girls", women who would forgo food and drink, claiming divine intervention. Some of these women would be diagnosed as anorexics by present-day standards. Others were revealed to be outright frauds.
But a select few are revered as saints to this day.
An individual pursuing her true calling is a fascinating thing to witness. How that individual's loved ones respond to the calling is equally, if not more, interesting in my mind. Knowing we can never truly understand the intentions of another, how far can we possibly go to embrace their destinies? Especially when those destinies point toward the unseen?
That, in my mind, is a horrific experience to endure. And this is why A BANQUET is just as much about terror as it is the redeeming qualities of love.
Using visual and auditory cues that stand on the shoulders of great psychological thrillers like ROSEMARY'S BABY and THE EXORCIST while embracing a score and production design that feel urgently in the now, I hope to bring the struggles of these characters to life for a modern-day audience.