The Weekend Is Engaging With Thrilling Secrets [Tribeca]

The Weekend still of a family sitting at dinner table.

While The Weekend is not scary, it is enjoyable entertainment horror, even though some scenes will leave viewers seething.

The Weekend, playing at Tribeca Festival, is a Nigerian film that starts its horror in the classical sense of showing a horrific scene before building the “how we got here” blocks of terror. It’s comparable to other meet-the-parents horror like Get Out and Ready Or Not. When I say you will have full-blown conversations with some of these characters, you will yell, curse, cheer, laugh, and predict. While The Weekend is not scary, it is enjoyable entertainment horror, even though some scenes will leave viewers seething.

Directed by Daniel Emeke Oriahi, with a screenplay by Egbemawei Dimiyei Sammy, Vanessa Kanu, and Freddie O. Anyaegbunam Jr, it delves into Nikiya’s (Uzoamaka Aniunoh, Mami WataDiiche) life. Nikiya, an orphan, finally looks to have a family through her fiance, Luc (Bucci Franklin). However, Luc is not close to his family and has not visited them in years. But after pressure from Nikiya, he agrees to travel with her to see his parents for their anniversary celebration when many secrets and twists show family is not all it’s cracked up to be.  

The Weekend Has a Haphazard Beginning of Forced Conflict

The Weekend still of Luc, played by Bucci Franklin, and Nikiya, played by Uzoamaka Aniunoh, sitting on the sofa.
The Weekend still. Courtesy of Tribeca Festival.

The Weekend, despite its somewhat manufactured setup, explores the dynamics of a toxic family. The conflict leading to Luke and Nikiya’s visit to his family’s home sometimes feels surreal. Yet, it also reflects the reality of people overstepping boundaries. While initially forced, this tension gradually becomes more understandable as the story unfolds. 

However, it creates the audience’s frustration with Nikiya, who pushes to meet Luc’s family despite his obvious discomfort. If he is as excellent as Nikiya claims, the concern should be what type of family makes such a fantastic person avoid them. If Nikiya wanted a partner with a family, it’s illogical that she chose a partner she knows stays away from his family. So, while The Weekend does pull emotions from audiences, it’s more irritation and frustration. 

The Acting Is Terrific

Audiences emotionally invest in the characters because of their performances. Whether it’s anger, frustration, or a desperate desire for some characters to flee, the acting pulls viewers in. However, the conflict between Nikiya and Luc feels forced or, at the very least, shows a distinct lack of communication. Either Nikiya should have accepted that Luc wanted no contact with his family, or he should have confessed to Nikiya why he steers clear of them. 

Emphasis on Forced Familial Conformity

The Weekend still of Luc and Nikiya outside a house.
The Weekend still. Courtesy of Tribeca Festival.

It really is close to the movies mentioned earlier. Sometimes, the “black sheep” of the family is more the one person reticent to conform. Often, their family mocks them at get-togethers. It’s even more prevalent with toxic families. So, The Weekend showcases a similar family. Underneath the surface are resentments that Luc did not live up to his family’s expectations, refusing to continue the traditions. While not as surprising as other films, there is plenty of entertainment and moments of shock and cheers. 

The Weekend lives in the subgenre horror of toxic families dialed up to a hundred. Some harms embed themselves so deeply within that even putting distance between family seems like a losing battle because the harm continues living inside. Nikiya’s desire for family comes full circle, and a valuable lesson resides in this engaging film: family does not always have to be blood-related. It can also be as small yet all-encompassing as a party of one. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

DarkSkyLady Reviews