Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Cannibal Fog (2014) - Horror Comedy Film Review

Cannibal Fog is a Swedish horror that the makers have described as 'a meta drama comedy with art house influences in the urban cannibal genre'. Before I start the review proper I have to state for the record that stuff was occurring in my personal life that may have made me less receptive than usual in my pursuit and acceptance of all types of horror.

Michael (Linus Karlgren) is a young man who has wasted his life in the pursuit of porn and meaningless sex. A chance encounter with contaminated food at a local cafe sets him upon a search for the addictive new taste. Meanwhile middle aged man Albin (Malte Aronsson) who resides in the same city as Michael is a secret cannibal serial killer who serves his 'special' meat dishes up as meals for food connoisseurs. Eventually the paths of Michael and Albin meet and fate plays out.

I watched this film in two sittings and at nearly two hours long I had to do it this way as I just could not get engaged with it due to the bizarre humour and the art house stylings it plays with. Much of the film follows Michael; a greasy haired loser, whose family have all but given up on him. His obsession with sex mirrors Albin's obsession with food providing a grim parallel between the two. The problem with the Michael segments is that not much really happens, The one plot hook is that he keeps waking up with flesh from his leg removed; just who is cutting away his flesh as he sleeps? Albin on the other hand has far shorter screen time but his segments are actually not that bad. One scene in which the pretentiousness of food critics is played up was actually pretty funny truth be told.

The soundtrack is pretty awful with lots of shouty rock and middle of the road forgettable background Muzak that sounds like it would be at home in an elevator. The film is in its native language with English subtitles and while occasionally the dialogue shines for the most part it is nothing special. Acting is hard to tell but it seems to be at least competent and I was delighted to see the man of many roles; Kim Sonderholm in a bit part. I have said it before and I will say it again, that man just gets everywhere!

Cannibal Fog starts strong showing as it does a scene from the end of the film to leave you wondering how things get to that stage, and in general the last quarter of the film is pretty darn good. With the introduction of a secret cannibal society and a mad finale that was exciting and fun to watch it really picked up, but by then it was too little too late. I loved the relationship between Michael and Albin but it comes so late into the film that it just seems a wasted opportunity.

There are some great ideas here, the explanation of the films title Cannibal Fog was unexpected and leads to some great moments but when so much of the film follows a disgusting unlikeable character again it is far too late to make up for what comes before. Dealing as it does with flesh eaters there is plenty of human meat being prepared which turned my stomach a bit, not really into the cannibal genre it turns out! It is easy to see the contrast between pleasures of the flesh and pleasures of eating the flesh, as well as humans obsession with food types and the preparation of it.

If your after mild art house and a strange time then Cannibal Fog might be right up your alley, for me though I just could not get into it until far too late when it had all but wrapped up.


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