ALL MY FRIENDS HATE ME (2021) takes a fundamental human trait–feeling rejected by a social group, resulting in paranoia these people actually despise you–and ramps it up into a black comedy. Overall, I liked it, and I was surprised at how much they wrung out of the premise to sustain it.
Eight years after graduating from university, Pete is back in England after working as an aid worker at a refugee camp. He receives an invitation to come hang out with some old friends to celebrate his birthday. Excited about reliving the fun of university life and reconnecting after so long, he drives to the large mansion owned by the father of one of his old friends. What follows is a weekend from hell as misunderstandings and bad vibes pile up to make Pete wonder if these people actually hate his guts.
The result is what I guess I’d call a social horror film, one of those comedies that produces almost zero actual laughs but a lot of uncomfortable chuckling. Pete can’t find his groove, has grown apart from these people, and their humor and inside jokes and horrible gags in the end leave him reeling to the point of the weekend reaching a surreal climax. By the end, you can see how Pete let paranoia get the better of him, but man, his friends are seriously jerks who never seemed to outgrow the rough horseplay of college.
In the end, I didn’t love ALL MY FRIENDS HATE ME as it was all a bit one note, but I admired how it sustained and pulled off its clever premise, one I think almost everybody can relate to. It set a simple goal and effectively achieved it. Recommended for those looking for an odd bit of British psychological horror.