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Armen Kazakov
Armen Kazakov

All My Friends Hate Me

Pete (Stourton) has returned from volunteering in a refugee camp and is celebrating the weekend of his 31st birthday at a country estate owned by his friend George (McGuire).[6] Pete's girlfriend Sonia (Clive) is expected the following day but his first evening is spent reconnecting with university friends, George and his wife Fig (Campbell), 'foppish cokehound' Archie (Dickson), and Pete's ex-girlfriend Claire (Clarke).[7] However, as the night goes on, Pete's friends' behaviour becomes more and more unsettling and Pete becomes more paranoid and insecure, as he suspects Harry (Demri-Burns) of plotting to replace him in the group. His paranoia soon boils over into a full-on psychotic breakdown during which his suspicions are debunked one by one.[8]

All My Friends Hate Me

Great acting, underwhelming story. It would be a stretch or fake advertisement to label All My Friends Hate Me as either comedy or horror. Instead, it's more of a slow-burn drama/character study that examines the discomfort of reuniting with old friends and meeting strangers, especially when secrets and paranoia are involved. It's by no means boring, thanks to its memorable cast, but at the end of the day, All My Friends Hate Me is no more than what its one-dimensional storyline stands for.

Parents need to know that All My Friends Hate Me is an amusing British dark comedy horror about anxieties and paranoia, with persistent strong language, drinking and drug use, and suicide references. Featuring a moderately small cast, the story centers around Pete (Tom Stourton) whose birthday weekend is ruined when his old university friends start behaving badly toward him. Their actions lead to Pete becoming increasingly anxious that not only do his friends not like him, but that a stranger, who has joined the group, is out to get him. With the birthday weekend setting, the characters spend much of the movie drinking, smoking, and, in some scenes, doing cocaine. Characters are shown to be drunk and high on numerous occasions. One character stays up all night doing cocaine. There is also strong language throughout, including "c--t," "p---y," and variants of "f--k." Nearly all the characters are from privileged backgrounds, something that is acknowledged and routinely mocked. Some of these characters do, however, make derogatory slurs about people of lower socioeconomic status. There is some non-sexual nudity -- including part of a penis -- and non-graphic references to sexual activity. A man is chased by someone wielding an axe, although it's quickly revealed it's part of a prank. A story is told involving a child taking their own life, and during a dream a character hangs themselves.

In ALL MY FRIENDS HATE ME, Pete (Tom Stourton) is looking forward to a weekend celebrating his 31st birthday with some old university friends he hasn't seen in many years. But when his friends, together with an antagonistic stranger, start behaving badly toward him, Pete begins to question whether they even like him.

This British comedy horror is a great example of what can be done with a relatively unknown cast and modest budget. All My Friends Hate Me manages to walk that oh so difficult tightrope between laughs and tension. And it does so brilliantly. In the case of this film, the scares come in the form of ever-increasing angst, rather than gore or jump scares -- although there are a couple of examples of the latter. As Pete -- played by the impressive Stourton, who also co-wrote the script -- becomes increasingly jumpy as his circle of friends crumbles around him, the tension cranks up to almost unbearable levels. Is he the victim of a malicious bunch of so-called friends? Or is he just tightly coiled and letting his anxieties and paranoia get the better of him?

Despite the rough ride, the film is filled with genuine laugh-out-loud moments. This is largely courtesy of the excellent cast who all perfect their characters quirks and mannerisms with deft touches that makes the story far more believable than it has any right to be. A story about a bunch of over-privileged potential sociopaths could so easily have been a turn-off. It's to the credit of the film's writing, direction, and cast that the opposite is true. Although perhaps it would be wise to draw the line at being friends with them.

The film centers on Pete (Stourton, who is also a co-writer on the film), who is cautiously excited about reuniting with his college crew for a birthday weekend. But, one by one, his friends slowly turn against him. Is he being punished, is he paranoid, or is it all a cruel and twisted prank meant to deliberately make him go mad?

I've heard people say, "Pete needs better friends," but personally, I think his very flawed friends need better friends. How've you found the reactions to be across the board in how people react to this group?

Pete is cautiously excited about reuniting with his college crew for a birthday weekend. But, one by one, his friends slowly turn against him. Is he being punished, is he paranoid, or is he part of some sick joke?

It's Pete's birthday and the old gang from college are throwing him a party out in the country. During what's meant to be a joyful weekend reunion, Pete finds himself increasingly unnerved by his friends' inside jokes and snarky comments. As the atmosphere goes from awkward to terrifying to downright surreal, Pete is pushed to the breaking point. Is he being paranoid or is he the butt of some elaborate joke?

Directed by Andrew Gaynord, All My Friends Hate Me stars the movie's writer Tom Stourton as Pete, a man passionate about his charity work with refugees, excited to spend the weekend of his 31st birthday with the old college friends who he hasn't seen in a while. Once they have all reunited under the same roof, what follows is a gradual unraveling of the peace as dark truths, abuses, and cringe-worthy social awkwardness and peer pressure.

When he finally finds the house, none of his friends are there to greet him. He waits for them well into the night, never seeing the note they left explaining they went to the local pub. Once they return, Pete finds that they made a new friend named Harry, who immediately sets Pete's teeth on edge.

The rest of the movie proceeds with the most awkward social interactions you've seen on the screen. Everything that Pete says, his friends cringe at. Every joke he tells falls flat. He doesn't do any of the things they want him to, like down his drink or remember old details about the past. Every story he tells backfires on him in the most embarrassing ways, and it finally gets so bad that Fig confronts him when they are alone on the stairs and tells him that "he's not doing very well" socially.

Pete also learns that Claire had a bad bout with depression after their break-up and left the manor early the following day after discovering someone must have told her -- as Pete only told George in confidence -- that Pete would be proposing to Sonia soon, making Pete feel terrible. Everything Pete's friends try to do to celebrate his birthday turns into an awkward disaster or a fight, and worst of all, Pete can't seem to shake the feeling that everyone knows something he doesn't, and everyone is out to get him.

The twist of the movie is shocking. Do all Pete's friends hate him or is it all in his head? Does Pete just need to find better, less malevolent company, or is this merely a problem of perception and self-absorption? Without giving away any spoilers, this movie is ultimately about acceptance as much as social anxiety. The film isn't about grand conspiracies or wrongdoings. It's about everybody having approximately the same amounts of trauma, embarrassment, and insecurity as everybody else.

Almost everything is a perception problem, while almost nothing is a question of right or wrong. Pete's ultimate problem is not, as the movie says, that he can't take a joke, but that he just can't see that we all, at one time or another, ask ourselves the crucial question, do all my friends hate me?

Stourton stars as Pete, whose old university friends George, Archie, Graham, Fig and Claire have organised a reunion for his 31st birthday, instructing him meet them for a party country estate owned by George. Pete shows up, only to find the manor mysteriously empty.

  • Pete spends several hours waiting alone in the hours before his friends eventually do turn up, but he quickly discovers that there is something off about the gang's behavior, chiefly in the way that they behave weirdly surprised and uncomfortable about the fact that he has shown up at all. To make matters even more strange, his friends have brought along a mysterious local called Harry along for the weekend. Pete becomes increasingly paranoid that Harry has some sort of ulterior motive to mess with him, and perhaps his friends are in on it because they all hate him. This film provides examples of: Accidental Public Confession: In the end, Pete thinks that everyone is trying to convince him to confess to prank-calling a neighbor while he was a teenager and inadvertently driving her to suicide. They actually had no idea about that, but the cat's out of the bag at that point.

  • Addled Addict: Archie takes prodigious amounts of cocaine and any other drug he can get his hands on, he barely sleeps and he even drives and goes shooting while sleep-deprived and high. He becomes increasingly physically wrecked over the course of the weekend.

  • Ambiguous Situation: What is wrong with Pete? Is he mentally ill? Why does he have such trouble remembering things? Does the final scene with Sonia even happen for real? It's never made clear.

  • Big Fancy House: The celebrations take place at a big country house once owned by George's father.

  • Butt-Monkey: Pete spends the whole film like this. Odd circumstances, unfortunate coincidences, unfair criticisms, and poor decisions all conspire to have him come out the worst in virtually every interaction.

  • Catchphrase: Archie makes a point of describing people and things as "wiendish", a Portmanteau of "weaselly" and "fiendish".

  • Chekhov's Gunman: Pete's friends mention "Plank" a few times as someone with whom they had hijinks with long ago and wore a wizard cap. In the end, it's revealed that Harry has been Plank all along.

  • Pete notices one of the beaters giving him a weird look. In the end, the man reappears as "Fake Pete" to do a roast of him.

  • Comedic Sociopathy: So, so much. Harry however takes the cake.

  • Cringe Comedy: This film is social anxiety as psychological horror.

  • Driven to Suicide: In the end, Pete reveals that he prank-called a canophobic girl by barking like a dog so often that he blames himself for her suicide.

  • Dude, Not Funny!: It's a recurring theme that jokes will either offend someone or someone will pretend to take offense at first and then make a joke out of it, such as when Sonia pretends to get offended at Archie's Jimmy Savile reference only to then say she's offended by his bad impression. Pete's jokes often land flat and sometimes a little unfairly. His joke about Fig marrying George for money lands flat, but George later makes a joke himself about Fig inheriting his house.

  • Easily Forgiven: Played for sureality. In the end, after having a mental breakdown in front of all his friends and violently attacking Harry, Pete asks the stone-faced Sonia if she'd still consider marrying him, and she gives him a flat no. And then she says she's only kidding, and of course she'll marry him. It's not clear whether this even happens.

  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Played with. Pete becomes convinced that he is this trope. He's wrong... at first. By the end of the film, however, he has alienated all his friends to the extent that he probably qualifies.

  • Gaslighting: Pete is increasingly convinced that Harry is trying to drive him crazy and/or turn his friends against him for some unknown reason.

  • Hope Spot: After Sonia arrives and takes the pressure off of Pete, things finally seem to be turning out for the better. And his growing guilt for having never told her about his tryst with Claire gets resolves without any difficulty, seemingly leaving no further conflicts left to resolve... until everything collapses.

  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Archie manages to clip a rabbit despite being high on cocaine, and despite the fact that he is firing a shotgun through the window of a moving car. He later turns up for the gang's pheasant hunting trip drug-addled and severely sleep-deprived after an all-night bender but still manages to shoot more pheasants than Pete (who bags a big fat zero). Justified as he is the poshest of the lot and evidently a very experienced game hunter.

  • Juggling Loaded Guns: Archie thinks it'd be a jolly good wheeze to put on a balaclava and creep up behind Pete with a shotgun. Pete is naturally freaked out but Archie assures him that it isn't loaded "Oh, it is loaded actually, sorry...".

  • Mistaken for Racist: Pete objects to Archie using the word "pez" as shorthand for "peasant" because it might offend Harry. Archie immediately chides Pete for indirectly calling Harry a peasant, and Harry responds in kind.

  • Mighty Whitey: Pete has just returned from a year spent doing volunteer work abroad with refugees... and he won't let anyone forget it.

  • Motifs Dogs barking. Pete is drawn to a dog barking strangely during his ride to the house. Later he has a dream about a dog barking. It's ultimately revealed that he drove a girl to suicide by barking at her over the phone.

  • Guilt over suicide. Peter learns that Claire attempted suicide shortly before he broke it off with her. He later has a dream in which she hangs herself. In the end, it's revealed that he accidentally drove a girl to suicide as a teen.

  • Mental illness. Claire reportedly attempted suicide and is in a psychologically vulnerable state. Pete takes pills that he claims are just herbal remedies, but he panics when he believes they might have been stolen or tampered with. He also reveals that he's been in therapy. Over the course of the story, it becomes increasingly apparent that he has gaps in his memory, false memories, or both.

  • Narcissist: Pete is convinced all of his friends' actions are a concerted attempt to screw with his mind. They're not- he's just too self-centred to see this.

  • The Reveal: Pete's friends keep teasing him about the "surprise" they have in store for him. He keeps assuming that their various pranks are the surprise, but it turns out to be the Fake Pete who does a roast of him, and the fact that Harry is actually "Plank."

  • Rewatch Bonus: After Archie and Pete have their heart-to-heart and Archie confirms Pete's suspicions about Harry, Archie watches Pete leave and gives a small flicker of a smile just before the scene cuts. This could easily be interpreted as pleasure over reconnecting with a friend, but upon rewatch it's clear that Archie is smiling because he's just played into the gang's big surprise by encouraging Pete to question Harry's real identity.

  • Right Behind Me: When Pete is pressured to tell a funny story, he describes his encounter with a creepy local man who gave him directions to the party and then suggested he might even come along and join the party himself later. This man turns out to be the groundskeeper of the house, going to the party because he was due to be working there, and he arrives right in the middle of Pete's story. Needless to say he doesn't find Pete's impression of him funny.

  • The Roast: Pete's friends arrange for an impersonator to do a comedy routine. "Fake Pete" is a neurotic who brags about his charity work- and does all the things Pete does that have been annoying his friends all weekend.

  • Running Gag: Pete getting interrupted just as he's about to start in on subject. He's first upstaged by Harry, who then politely yields back to him. Later, he's repeatedly shortcut while trying to tell an anecdote about a refugee child who "understood something for the first time." Later, he's about to explain "the thing about Sonia" before Archie cuts him off.

  • Upper-Class Twit: All of Pete's university friends are upper-class "toffs," and Pete feels a bit alienated from them after having left their society for so many years.

  • Upper-Class Wit: Inverted. Pete feels pressure to resume his role as the "skipper of the party" for the group, but he's immediately outshined by the crass party animal Harry and turtles up, unable to compete. It's further subverted in the end when it's revealed that Pete's friends might never have considered him the "skipper," and that was something only in Pete's own head.



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