The title All My Friends Hate Me has the allure of relatable anxiety: it’s certainly a recurring premise in my more disturbing dreams. In this British film, the protagonist Pete (Tom Stourton) is leaving the city, and his girlfriend Sonia (Charly Clive), for a weekend of drunken revelry at a country mansion, celebrating his birthday and reconnecting with his party buddies from university.
But he finds his old friends are vaguely hostile, although it’s always cloaked in the guise of “jokes.” Has Pete matured out of the cruel humour that is the language of this social group? Or are they pissed off at him – for his lack of interest in their personal lives, for his self-righteousness about volunteering at refugee camps, for his mistreatment of Claire (Antonia Clarke) who he used to hook up with?
Or is something even darker going on? Pete’s memory seems broken. He doesn’t remember key things, events that can’t be a product of some gaslighting campaign by his friends because even Sonia knows about them.
Director Andrew Gaynord adeptly moves the atmosphere of the movie from apprehension to paranoia to dread. It could easily have been a horror movie, and I, as a horror fan, was hoping it would descend further into that realm. I did end up rather disappointed in the ending, but it was a worthwhile creepy trip to get there.