Edinburgh Film Festival is winding down this weekend, but there are a couple of great films still looking to make their mark. And one of the highlights is Benjamin Barfoot's horror-comedy Double Date.

A couple of years ago, we got that Keanu Reeves horror-film Knock Knock about the deadly sexual predators seducing Reeves and torturing him. It was a bad movie. Whilst the two films are fairly different beasts - one is a straight-up horror, the other more a comedy-horror - Double Date certainly feels like it has hints of Knock Knock and follows in similar footsteps in its concept and premise. However, it easily supersedes that lacklustre 2015 picture and is everything Knock Knock could have been. It's a blast from start to finish. And undoubtedly one of the best films of the year.

Danny Morgan, who also wrote this film, stars as 29-year-old virgin Jim and Michael Socha his best friend Alex, who is adamant on helping Jim lose his virginity before he turns 30 the night of his birthday party. And he gets assistance in this when the pair head on a double date with two beautiful, mysterious girls - Kitty (Kelly Wenham) and Lulu (Georgia Groome). However, they have plans of their owns for the boys. The film opens with the girls viciously murdering a couple of blokes they've brought back after a night out who thought they may have been getting something a little less sinister than they did. It's hilarious and suspenseful at the same time and sets the stage for the following 90 minutes of brilliant, maddening anarchy. From the get-go, Barfoot and Morgan lock us in with what promises to be a fun thrill ride. And that's exactly what it is.
Horror-comedies can always be taxing to pull off; finding the right balance of horror and comedy is not an easy gig. Double Date certainly leans more towards the comedic side than it does horror, dishing us more laughs than it does scares. However, this is by no means a bad thing because the humour is excellent; this film is utterly hysterical. Morgan's writing, paired with such perfectly timed acting and delivery from the cast, is hilarious and the film consistently delivers us genuinely gut-busting and laugh-out-loud humour. On the horror end, the film perhaps compares more to Shaun of the Dead than it does Get Out. The scares are thin and Barfoot opts for more suspense instead but, when the film wants, it can really orchestrate the tension to a tee. It's gorgeously shot too, dripping with as much style as the blood-soaked final act.

At its heart, this is a story about friendship and you can sense the years of history and shenanigans between Jim and Alex, with such palpable chemistry between Socha and Morgan really cementing this point. The pair radiate with charisma and heart and relatability - we all have that soft, innocuous soul and cocky, motor-mouth friendship in our lives; whether you're the former or the latter, it's there. Groome and Wenham are equally as impressive as our femme-fatales; it's the plethora of great performances and such believable chemistry that Double Date offers that really makes this such an easy and enjoyable watch. Kitty and Lulu perhaps aren't as finely-tuned characters as Jim and Alex, paling in comparison, with a history that isn't quite as nuanced or even explained really, but they're fine as the antagonistic femme fatales the story needs them to be.

This certainly doesn't stop Double Date from still being a riotous and hilarious affair; it's maddening and bonkers, yet that's perhaps the biggest praise I can give the film. Barfoot's direction is slick and the film boasts plenty of great style; the writing is hilariously brilliant from Morgan too and the film offers a showcase of great work from everyone. It's a blast and easily one of the most enjoyable, fun films not only of this year's Edinburgh Film Festival but just of the whole year too.

VERDICT:
Double Date is riotously hilarious and deliriously bonkers - in the best way possible.

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About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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