Using Arthur Gray‘s creepy short story of the same name as a jumping off point, The Everlasting Club centres upon a group of female students who are attempting to resurrect the traditions of a centuries old club for powerful men, only this time with a feminist focus. What they instead discover is a much more terrifying power at work, one that stretches back to the club’s malevolent beginnings centuries ago.
What’s immediately striking about The Everlasting Club is how elegant and minimalist the overall piece is. Writer/Director Joy Wilkinson imbues this age-old tale of devilish pacts and deadly dinners with a pervading sense of dread and disorientation, with the majority of the action taking place over one continuous panning shot as the camera glides around a table surrounded by infinite blackness. The overall effect is an otherworldly, spooky atmosphere which also provides a few excellent creepy visuals that punctuate the story.
The plot feels like that of a final twist ending from a much longer horror film, but to the script’s credit, there is enough substance within those opening minutes to ensure the whole endeavour satisfies upon its conclusion. Characters are immediately distinctive despite little dialogue and the performances are on the whole excellent, especially that of star Emma McDonald, whose charming performance is perfectly pitched, turning on a dime at key moments throughout. The haunting score by Max Perryment and atmospheric cinematography by Kate Reid add a sense of doom and foreboding to the film, and the overall curtain drop moments are incredibly effective in their execution.
When the only criticism one can throw at the film is that we wish it was longer, it’s fair to say the film is a must-see. Effortlessly bought to life by cast and crew and dripping in disquiet atmosphere throughout, The Everlasting Club will certainly go on and on in your head long after watching.