M.L. Miller here! Welcome horror fans to my Annual countdown of the Best of the Best in Horror! Running every day through October, this list will culminate with the best horror film of the year announced on October 31st. Some of these films can be found in theaters—others have unfortunately only seen the light of day On Demand, DVD, BluRay, or digital download. I’ve tried to indicate in the reviews how you can watch and enjoy these films yourselves. I’ll also provide a “Worth Noting” secondary film suggestion in a separate post. These are films that stood out or just missed being on the list by a skosh—a little extra for those who can’t get enough horror.
How did I compile this list? I simply looked through films released between October 1st 2018 and September 30, 2019 and worked and reworked the list until I had the magic number, 31. This countdown is not for the elitists or festival goers, so if the film hasn’t been released to the masses, it won’t be on the list. Also anything released this October will most likely be on next year’s list—so sorry, no films like DOCTOR SLEEP or ZOMBIELAND 2 just yet.
I hope you’ll join me daily and don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
#23 – THE CANNIBAL CLUB!
THE CANNIBAL CLUB is a fantastic little film about secret societies, adultery, and of course, cannibalism. It’s equal parts sexy and horrifying and an all around standout film from the past year. Released in March of 2019, here is my review of the excellent THE CANNIBAL CLUB! Available on On Demand and digital download from Uncork’d Entertainment!
THE CANNIBAL CLUB (2018)
aka O CLUBE DOS CANIBAIS
Directed by Guto Parente
Written by Guto Parente
Starring Tavinho Teixeira, Ana Luiza Rios, Pedro Domingues, Zé Maria, Rodrigo Capistrano, Alcântra Costa, Lc Galetto, Fátima Muniz, Galba Nogueira, Bruno Prata, Ana Cristina Viana
THE CANNIBAL CLUB is a jet-black comedy that takes risks American movies simply don’t have the guts to take anymore.
The story focuses on the decadent and bizarre relationship between Otavio (Tavinho Teixeira) and his wife Gilda (Ana Luiza Rios). The two are deeply in love but share a deeply perverse and twisted relationship involving infidelity, murder, and cannibalism. Otavio, a wealthy businessman, is a member of an exclusive gentleman’s club that dabbles in the same pleasures, but because it is a club just for men, Gilda misses out on all of the fun, resenting the club. At a social gathering of these businessmen and their spouses, Gilda wanders away from the party and happens upon something she should not see, putting Gilda and Otavio by association in grave danger.
The less said about the plot of this film, the more you’re bound to enjoy it. I went in blind and came out the other end impressed at the bold decisions this film takes—specifically the sheer amount of sex and violence (most of the time integrated into one horrible series of actions). American films these days are so afraid of offending someone that it is a thrill to see such risqué and sordid themes being dealt with so much sophistication. THE CANNIBAL CLUB isn’t reinventing the wheel as much as it is reminding us that horror can be biting satire, unafraid what taboos it breaks.
There are strong themes of social class warfare where the rich simple wipe away their problems and sweep away the bodies like carrion on the side of the road. The film doesn’t hold back in showing how the most ruthless of people can be those of the highest rank while the little people are but pawns in a sick game. From the pampered life of Gilda to the decadent dinner party’s Otavio attends, this is a world most of us will never see. And it’s an ugly one, where carnal thrills are traded for the lives of those in lower classes.
This is a brutal and violent film, but at the same time has the biting wit of a Cohen Brothers crime story. There are moments where you can’t help but laugh out loud at the crazy happenings that unfold as Otavio and Gilda become deeper and deeper in trouble. That said, this film takes its time to introduce the audience to this decadent world and then races towards the end in an all too brisk fashion. My only complaint is that I wanted to wallow around in the excess a bit more before the end, to be honest. Filled with a high amount of sex and equally plentiful amounts of violence and gore, excellently acted and filled with gorgeous and decadent scenery, all of it punctuated with a weird smooth jazz soundtrack that amps up the quirkiness of it all; THE CANNIBAL CLUB is one diabolically unique Brazilian offering not to be missed.
THE COUNTDOWN SO FAR…
#23 – THE CANNIBAL CLUB
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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