Double Date is a British horror comedy written by Danny Morgan, who also stars as the shy, self-doubting, retreating wall-flower, Jim. Venturing into his thirties, Jim is plagued by the fact he's still a virgin. Unbeknownst to him, a night out will see him fall into the hands of two alluring foxy sisters who want to sacrifice him as part of a bigger sinister plot. This all sounds wacky, twisted and super quirky which alludes to a promising horror comedy flick. Sadly, this is not the case.
On the eve of Jim’s 30th birthday, he is on a reluctant quest to ‘pop his cherry’ instigated by his cocky and irritating friend Alex (Michael Socha) who seems more obsessed about Jim losing his virginity, than Jim himself. We find them both drinking, drowning Jim’s sorrows at an empty Shoreditch bar, when two, totally-out-of-his-league, siblings Kitty and Lulu have just walked in. Alex coaxes Jim into them chatting up and to his amazement the girls agree to join them both on a wild party-fuelled double date. What follows is a haphazard and bizarre evening of awkward conversation, spiked drinks and family karaoke; literally on an acid trip. The two scheming femme fatales however have darker ulterior motives. They’re on a mission to kidnap and kill Jim as his virginity is a crucial component to a mystical spell used to resurrect their dead father.
Morgan was perhaps overly optimistic with such an elaborate story line. There are so many things going on that it’s hard to keep track and ultimately the whole thing fails to deliver as one cohesive film. Where does one begin critiquing this film? the wooden acting? the gaping plot holes? the unconvincing staged surroundings? or the random flimsy supernatural ending? The moments of rare comedic values are so far and few between, you completely forget them. Adding to the film's woes is newbie director Benjamin Barfoot’s troublesome directorial style: the dialogue is so overtly masculine, at points it verges on sexist: plus, the look and feel of the whole thing is so incredibly dull and generic, with such little attention to detail its frankly, amateurish.
Morgan’s references are very apparent and it looks like he’s tried to fit them all in one single film. The film loosely brings to mind filmic oddities such as Lesbian Vampire Killer, French porn thriller Baise Moi, the wackiness of 80s comedies such as Weekend at Bernie’s or even the druggie vibes of Trainspotting. However, what those films possess in: comedy, style, horror, plot, spoof to give them their cult, pop-culture status, are all the things that lack in this movie.
Apart from the odd funny bit and the potential of some plot ideas; there are so many things thrown in the mix and then spat out randomly, that as a viewer you get very little sense what this film wants to be.
Words by Daniel Theophanous