All My Friends Hate Me- Unpacks Social Anxiety Horror
Imagine all of your embarrassing social anxiety episodes, that snide, smirk-inducing recollections that wait in the shadows of your mind, ready to erupt and destroy your day. All My Friends Hate Me is a not quite comedy/horror-adjacent drama about a man who finds himself the outsider at his birthday party. Now imagine them all combined into a movie and you have something approximating the psychological discomfort of the film.
Social Anxiety Is Portrayed In The Movie:
Self-described nice guy Pete, Tom Stourton, also serving as co-writer and producer, travels to a large country house for birthday celebrations with a group of university friends. He hasn’t seen his friends in years. After encountering a hilariously placed, horror-film-style title card, a long drive, and several strange run-ins with locals. George (Joshua McGuire), whose father owns the mansion they are in, is there.
As is his wife Fig (Georgina Campbell), as well as posh party boy Archie (Graham Dickson), ex-girlfriend Claire (Antonia Clarke), and an old flame. And Harry (Dustin Demri-Burns), a stranger the gang brought back from the pub immediately makes Pete feel uneasy.
Pete has a miserable time as the weekend progresses. The gang teases him, dismisses his tales, puts him in embarrassing circumstances, and accuses him of not enjoying them. It leads to tensions stemming from racial and social divides.
The beauty of Stourton and co-author Tom Palmer’s script is that with every agonizing event, Pete goes through. You find yourself wondering whether he or his buddies are evil people, just as he does. Pete drones on endlessly about his heroic job at a refugee camp. And every time they behave rudely or distant, you start to suspect that they might genuinely despise him because you do, just a little.
Elements Of Horror Mixed With Comedy:
Despite being mostly a comedy, there are skillfully inserted moments of terror, drama, and tension for maximum effect. The humor comes thick and fast. Despite being very sparsely drawn, the supporting cast is great, making each member intolerable and relatable in their way. As Pete’s girlfriend Sonia, Charly Clive completely alters the situation.
When she arrives at the party late and gives Pete a sense of security while maintaining the appropriate level of unreadability. But Stourton stands out because she expertly combines the restlessness of worry with snobbish showmanship. And an air of educated snobbery all the while. Which makes her utterly compelling as the audience’s vehicle for disquiet.
Themes Other Than Social Anxiety:
All My Friends Hate Me perfectly captures how awful it would be to feel excluded from your birthday celebration. But it also explores larger themes about how difficult it is to maintain friendships as you age.
Such as feeling like you’ve outgrown your friends, trying to relive the good old days, and reconciling who you were in your youth with who you are now. In a slick, hilariously British, genre-infused package, it manages to combine a unique character study, laugh-out-loud awkwardness, and millennial neuroticism that is utterly sympathetic.
However, All My Friends Hate Me is quick and sharp. And extremely enjoyable descent into peer-related psychosis that combines humor, discomfort, and creepiness.