Dinner Parties From Hell: 20 Horror Movies About Frightening Feasts

This mouth-watering list of 20 horror movies serves up the best of nightmare dinner party cinema.

A revolting course is served in The Dinner Party (2020).

Dinner parties are supposed to be an opportunity to unwind and connect among friends and family. The laughter and merriment should flow as freely as the wine, and the time spent together should be as sweet as the dessert passed around the table. The sad reality is that many of the times, one is subjected to hours of awkwardness or tension. Conversation can be boring or get heated. If you were to choose to bite your tongue when someone says something entirely offensive, you’d chew right through it, so you don’t hold yourself back and arguing ensues. Truthfully, dinner parties are great recipes for disaster, despite the delectable food placed in front of us. 

In Thanksgiving (2023), villain John Carver serves up a table filled with living and dead guests of honor.

As tiresome as dinner gatherings may be in the real world, horror has proven that it could get much worse, deadly even. The following list functions as a lavish menu of horror films centered around the dinner table. It features cannibalism, alien possession, home invasions, carnage, sadistic games, murder, and so much more. 

Get your steak knives ready for the 20 most delectable movies of dinner party horror. 

Rope (1948)

The dinner party in Rope takes place in real time, immersing the audience in a tense, inescapable scenario in which at any moment the protagonists could be caught.

Rope is an adaptation of the 1929 Patrick Hamilton play of the same name, which was loosely inspired by the real-life murder of 14-year-old Bobby Franks by two University of Chicago. The movie was the first of Hitchcock’s colorized works. Filmed to look like a single take, it’s considered his most experimental film. Initially conceived as one continuous scene, filmmaking limitations required the director to achieve shots as long as a single spool of film, up to 10 minutes. The story opens in a Manhattan penthouse apartment in which two friends, Rupert Cadell (James Stewart) and Brandon Shaw, (John Dall) strangle their former prep school classmate to death with a rope simply for the sake of getting away with the perfect crime—what they call an “intellectual exercise.” That night they host a dinner party and hide his body in a large wooden chest. As the night goes on, their odd behavior raises suspicions among the guests. 

The Perfect Host (2010)

The (dinner) table is turned in The Perfect Host with an excellent twist.

This dark comedy thriller is a great option for viewers who enjoy sinister psychological themes. Its plot is completely outlandish, yet meticulously crafted. The movie opens with fugitive John Taylor (Clayne Crawford) fleeing a crime with a wounded foot and ringing the doorbell of Warwick Wilson (David Hyde Pierce). John is granted entrance into Warwick’s home under false pretense and is invited to stay for a dinner party he’s hosting that night. It soon becomes obvious that John isn’t the only one putting on a farce and hiding something. John’s backstory is revealed as the film progresses, and the exceedingly bizarre affair takes a series of surprising twists and turns. 

You’re Next (2011)

The family dinner in You’re Next is interrupted by masked strangers.

This anti-romcom horror is centered around a family reunion in rural Missouri. Paul (Rob Moran) and Aubrey Davidsion (Barbara Crampton) have invited their four children and their respective significant others to get together to celebrate their anniversary, in the hopes of mending their fraying familial ties. Erin (Sharni Vinson), Crispin Davidson’s (A.J. Bowen) girlfriend, tries to connect with her boyfriend’s relatives and ease the tension at the extremely dysfunctional dinner table. Circumstances grow exponentially worse when a crossbow is shot through the window, escalating into a full-scale home invasion. Erin fights back against the masked intruders and puts up a hell of a fight to stay alive. Adam Wingward’s picture defies convention and is one of the most revolutionary horror movies of the 2010s

Would You Rather (2012)

You do *not* want an invitation to this dinner party.

Would You Rather is for fans seeking a far darker and more sinister ride than your average dinner party horror movie. Brittany Snow stars as Iris, a young woman desperate to find a way to afford leukemia treatment for her sick brother, who is also in need of a bone marrow transplant. His oncologist introduces her to Shepard Lambrick (Jeffrey Combs), a wealthy philanthropist who’s willing to help. There’s one catch—she has to attend his dinner party, where she will compete against six other people. The winner will be completely taken care of in any way they need using his money and the influence of his charitable foundation. She takes the offer. It’s only once dinner has ended that she realizes she has to survive a sadistic and deadly game of “Would You Rather.” In order to save her brother, she has to stay alive. 

Among Friends (2012)

A dinner party has a secret agenda in Among Friends.

Scream queen Danielle Harris steps behind the screen and directs this fun, twisted horror set in the 80s. A dinner takes a dark turn at a murder mystery party when one person in the group hijacks the evening. They’re determined for the others to be honest and come clean about secret betrayals against one another. This person is willing to spill blood to get the truth exposed, and they’ll stop at nothing. The cast includes  AJ Bowen, Christopher Backus, Jennifer Blanc, Kamala Jones, Dana Daurey, Brianne Davis, Kane Hodder, Alyssa Lobit and Chris Meyer.

Coherence (2013)

Coherence is probably the strangest dinner party horror movie.

This independent film is one of the most innovative movies from the 2010s and one of the most intriguing sci-fi thrillers to have been created in its era. The movie is as much horror and mystery as science fiction. It follows eight friends as they gather for a dinner party on the night when Miller’s Comet passes overhead. Due to exes, drama, and lingering secrets, things begin rather awkwardly. After the neighborhood experiences a blackout, strange phenomena begin to take place. As they realize that they can’t trust each other, everyone in the group devolves into the worst version of themselves. Coherence is a twisty mind fuck movie that serves up some wild surprises for dinner. 

The Invitation (2015)

A dinner party in the Hollywood Hills goes off the rails in The Invitation.

Karyn Kusama proves her genius once again in this grief horror centered around a dinner party. Logan Marshall-Green stars as Will, a man who along with his girlfriend and other guests attends a dinner rendezvous hosted by his ex-wife Eden (Tammy Blanchard) and her current partner (Michiel Huisman) in his former home. The ex-spouses suffered the accidental death of their son a couple of years prior. It will be the first time he sees Eden in two years, since she disappeared to Mexico following their loss. The appetizers, cocktails, and Eden’s charming new husband aren’t fooling Will. As the evening progresses, he becomes more certain that their hosts are hiding something truly sinister. His mistrust imbues the film with unease and a sense of impending doom.

Monster Party (2018)

Aspiring robbers choose the wrong dinner party to infiltrate in Monster Party.

Monster Party serves up a hefty side of fun, providing great characters, good gore, and fun kills. Guised as catering staff, a teenage trio of thieves who pull off meticulously coordinated burglaries infiltrate a Malibu mansion that’s hosting a dinner party. Casper (Sam Strike), Iris (Virginia Gardner) and her boyfriend Dodge (Brandon Michael Hall) plan on short-circuiting the owner’s safe to get their hands on some desperately needed money. Casper has 24 hours to come up with the amount needed to bail his dad out of a gambling debt and save his life, so there’s no time for coordinated planning. Little do they know that the dinner they’re pretending to cater is being put on for a serial killer recovering group for the social elite. 

Into the Dark: Pilgrim (2019)

The “Thanksgiving re-enactors” take their job a little too seriously in Pilgrim.

You don’t need to save this entry to Hulu’s Into the Dark film series for Thanksgiving. Brian Pallerico writes for Roger Ebert that Pilgrim “uses Thanksgiving as a twisted starting point for a story of insanity and the spoiled behavior of the rich and out of touch. What starts as the story of a blended family that’s not blending too well devolves into a grisly, gory movie that someone like Herschell Gordon Lewis would have liked.” The story focuses on a dysfunctional family and their friends at a special Thanksgiving dinner. The host has invited re-enactors to produce an authentic first Thanksgiving to remind her family of how lucky they are. Method acting turns deadly when the “actors” refuse to break character. Buckle up for a bloody feast. 

The Feast (2021)

Fans of horror movies about class warfare will enjoy The Feast.

This Welsh folk horror film offers up a bizarre dinner party with a glorious gory ending. The story focuses on Cadi (Annes Elwy), who is assisting with a wealthy family’s dinner hosted at their inherited estate in the Welsh mountains. Her strange behavior—wandering off, tracking mysterious dirt, wet hair, thick silence—goes unnoticed by the homeowners, Glenda (Nia Roberts) and Gwyn (Julian Lewis Jones). They have far more pressing matters on their mind, like brokering a business deal. As the evening progresses, they come to realize that this just may be their last supper. The Feast touches on themes of environmentalism, gentrification, and anti-colonialism. 

Thanksgiving (2023)

John Carver unveils the main course at his dinner party: a woman cooked alive and served in the style of a Thanksgiving turkey.

While most Thanksgiving horror movies could qualify as “dinner party horror movies”, Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving has one of the most horrifying main courses on record. The masked serial murderer sets a table for his hostages that includes a victim’s severed head and the corpse of a woman he cooked alive. Still unsure of the killer’s identity, the hostages have to escape or face a similar fate.

More dinner parties from hell to attend…

The dinner table is set for cannibalism in We Are What We Are (2013).

We Are What We Are (2013) an American remake of the 2010 Mexican film that revolves around a very special dinner for the Parker family. After the death of their matriarch, it falls to the eldest daughter, Rose (Julia Gardner), to take on the responsibility of preparing for their ancient customs and religious rites. The tradition involves feeding on human flesh. Ambyr Childers also stars. 

Await Further Instructions (2018) after a Christmas dinner gone wrong, a family realizes that they’re trapped in their home and surrounded by a mysterious black substance. The TV transmits a one-line message: “Await further instructions.” Soon, other cryptic messages begin coming in. 

Into The Dark: A Nasty Piece of Work (2019) an entry into Hulu’s Into the Dark film series. After finding out he won’t be getting a promotion or a holiday bonus, an employee is invited over to dinner at his boss’s for a chance to advance his career. It turns out to be a violent competition.

Hosts (2020) a family invites the sweet young couple next door over to their Christmas Eve dinner, unaware that their bodies have been taken over by a malicious entity. Throughout the night they’re violently terrorized in unimaginable ways. It’s available to watch on Prime Video and Tubi.

Cadaver (2020) a Netflix original set during a postapocalyptic famine. A starving family is lured to a hotel dinner show that’s offering a free meal, but it turns out to be a sinister game. 

The Dinner Party (2020) an aspiring playwright and his wife attend a dinner party hosted by wealthy, cultural elites who have promised to get his latest play on Broadway. What they have in mind for the couple is actually much more disturbing. It’s available to watch on Tubi

Barbarians (2021) four friends gather at a birthday dinner celebration at a country house. As secrets and lies among them are exposed, three masked intruders crash the party.

Silent Night (2021) a couple invite their closest friends over for Christmas dinner at their beautiful home in the English countryside. Outside, the world is facing impending doom. No one is surviving the holidays. 

The Menu (2022) a renowned chef prepares a lavish menu at an exclusive restaurant on a remote island. The culinary genius has much more cryptic surprises in store for the attendees. 

Family Dinner (2022) an Austrian movie about an insecure teenage girl, Simi (Nina Katlein), who spends Easter weekend at her famous nutritionist aunt’s remote farmhouse. They supposedly want to get her on a healthier track, but Simi starts realizing more malicious things are at play. The movie is available to watch on Tubi.

Meet The Author

Natalia is a writer, poet, and collage artist living in Houston, Texas. Her favorite scary movies include Pearl, Midsommar, and Jennifer’s Body. In her spare time, she enjoys writing “good for her” horror fiction.