M.L. Miller here! As I go into the tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved. Moving on to Year Five of my year-long Retro-Best in Horror I’m recapping the Countdown beginning officially on October 1, 2014 and going through September 30, 2015. I have posted compilation lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also worked and reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around, and even adding a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So, if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t! 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!
Released on November 18, 2014. Available On Demand, digital download, and Blu-ray/DVD! Also streaming on Amazon Prime and Tubi!
Directed by Jimmy Weber
Written by Jimmy Weber
Starring Meggie Maddock, Ali Frances, Jeremy Make, Maru Garcia, Dakota Pike, Josh Staab
Find out more about this film here.
Novella wants to become a star so she can fuck Michael Fassbender. Well, that’s not the only reason, but one she gives when she asks about what she wants to do with her life. She’s a wannabe model/actress who is finding it harder and harder to find roles and with rent and other stressors in her looming, she has developed a nasty habit of biting her cuticles and fingernails. But as the stress mounts, her habit is starting to intensify and by intensify, I mean, she’s starting to eat more than her cuticles and fingernails.
Stories like Stephen King’s SURVIVOR TYPE and ANTHROPOPAGUS where the protagonist begins eating themselves out of sheer desperation and hunger came to mind immediately upon watching EAT, a new film by Jimmy Weber and one you’re going to want to watch out for if you like psychologically horrific gorefests. And man-o-man is this a gorefest. But instead of being one of your typical gorefests where it’s nothing but a showcase for bloody wounds and nasty effects, EAT delves into psychological issues so deep with characters so rich, even if you are easy to nauseate, you’re going to have trouble turning away.
Writer/director Weber has orchestrated a symphony of psychologically damaged people with this film. Meggie Maddock is instantly likable and gorgeously engaging as Novella, a deeply scarred young lady who has a distrust in doctors ever since her father died on the operating table having a routine procedure. It’s no wonder when she begins to harm herself that she keeps her distance from doctors and refuses to get help. Her best friend Candice (Ali Frances) is over protective of her as Novella does seem to have that broken wing personality that brings out the parental instincts in people. When Novella’s bad habit of eating her own flesh gets out of control, it’s hard not to feel for her in this time of ultimate desperation. Weber seems to have covered all of the psychological bases in mapping out a flawed individual who surrounds herself with equally flawed people while all the while holding an unflinching mirror up to the horrors that happen in Hollywood these days. And he does so without being clichéd or melodramatic. Every emotional beat hits its mark with just amount of power that it just rings right. It’s traumatic and horrible, but right, nevertheless.
EAT seems to be adding to a growing trend of horror films about body horror left untreated (see also STARRY EYES, THANATOMORPHOSE, AFFLICTED, and CONTRACTED). I know I go to the doctor as a last resort, not because I don’t care about myself, but because I have such a busy schedule and tight budget. Flawed thinking, I know, but I think it’s a feeling many experience in this new day and age of a multitasking generation where a costly doctor’s visit means even more problems. EAT delves into this very human desperation and topically relevance with a gentle hand at first, leading the viewer in by having us care for these characters, and then comes down hard on us like a sledgehammer in the latter half.
EAT is a film that is not for the squeamish. It contains effects sequences that will make you wince, writhe, and scream. But the most uncomforting aspect of EAT is that it does such an effective job of pulling the viewer in to care about the characters before putting them through bloody, gory hell. Depthy, unflinching, and utterly gross, EAT is a film that will make you want to pull away, but you won’t be able to. Everything from the performances to the music used is spot on. EAT will affect you like few other horror films do. It will twist your heart while it churns your stomach. Not just a gorefest, but a gorefest with character and depth. That’s what EAT is.
THE 2014-2015 COUNTDOWN!
#10 – EAT
#11 – GOODNIGHT MOMMY
#12 – LOST SOUL: THE DOOMED JOURNEY OF RICHARD STANLEY’S ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU
#13 – STARRY EYES
#14 – THE BOY
#15 – THE TAKING OF DEBORAH LOGAN
#16 – THE HOUSE AT THE END OF TIME
#17 – THE STRANGE COLOR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS
#18 – CUB
#19 – POD
#20 – BACKCOUNTRY
#21 – CLOSER TO GOD
#22 – WE ARE STILL HERE
#23 – A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT
#24 – WYRMWOOD: ROAD OF THE DEAD
#25 – THE EDITOR
#26 – DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS DEAD
#27 – PARA ELISA
#28 – THE HOUSES OCTOBER BUILT
#29 – FROM THE DARK
#30 – EXISTS
#31 – A PLAGUE SO PLEASANT
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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