From writer-director Benjamin Viré, comes slow-burning horror-thriller Cannibal. After finding a young woman unconscious in woods near his home in the Belgian countryside, agoraphobic Max (Nicolas Gob) decides to nurse the stranger (Helena Coppejans), whom he calls Bianca, back to health. But Max hasn’t counted on her addiction to eating human flesh while having sex. Repulsed at first, Max discovers he has a calming influence on her and the two misfits soon enter into a relationship. But their newfound love is cut short when gangsters come looking for Bianca.
Cannibal is not the best title for this film. It ought to have been called ‘Strange Love’ because that’s what its about – well, the first half anyway. Loner Max is downright creepy despite his Justin Timberlake looks (his eating habits are particularly gross), and the almost mute Bianca looks like she needs some serious counseling. The gore scenes are fast and furious, with the best one taking place in a cemetery in which Max dutifully cleans up after Bianca does her business on a townie. Very seedy.
When the big switch happens and the gangsters kidnap Bianca, the film shifts from horror to crime thriller – sort of The Addiction meets Spiral. Even the colours change from green-brown camouflage to black and white film noir. The music too is consistent with the film’s changing nature as prog rock gives way to techno and rap.
I don’t think I’m giving anything away by saying that both Bianca and Max have connections to the gangsters and there’s a surprising twist in the tale. I wont spoil what follows, but I can tease you with – it’s Fight Club with bite.
Best lines: ‘I am ill, and the illness I know is God’ and ‘I know s*** without tasting it’