Ravenous (1999)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Adventure Drama, Black Comedy, Period Film  |   Release Date - Mar 19, 1999 (USA)  |   Run Time - 98 min.  |   Countries - Czechia , United Kingdom , Mexico , Slovakia , United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Lisa Kropiewnicki

Surviving as a cult film after being written off by most audiences, the bizarre plot of Ravenous is a twist for British director Antonia Bird, whose filmography focuses primarily on realism. Yet straight from the trailer's satirical tag line "you are who you eat," this dark comedy is steeped in irreverence. But can cannibalism really be made funny? Bird tries with lines like, "It's lonely being a cannibal; it's tough making friends," but for the most part it's what one might guess, given the topic: strange, graphic and disturbing, full of roasted carcasses and fleshy stew. The cast is a kick to watch: Guy Pearce's morally righteous Captain Boyd is fascinating given his desperate dilemma and Robert Carlyle's Colqhoun eerily transforms himself from a convincing, spooked victim to a menacing and unrelenting predator. The performances, plus a vampirish vibe due to its isolated setting, totemic symbolism, and ghoulish-giggle background sounds, add up to an interesting near-miss of a film that too uncomfortably blends farce, satire, and horror. Ravenous is close to being a genuine cult find but may ultimately leave all but potential serial killers hungry for the gem of a movie it might have been.