Film Review: Ravenous (1999)

Into the Dark: Film Review - Ravenous (1999)

It’d be easy to write off Ravenous as a bungled misfire, but if it is one, it sure is an interesting one. The end result is a pitch-black comedy about cannibalism set in 1847 at a remote outpost in the Sierra Nevadas. The tone of the film is hard for some to swallow (how punny), but from the opening quotation (“Eat me. – Anonymous”) and quirky plucking of Michael Nyman and Damon Albarn’s score, you should know precisely how to take this deranged little movie.

Director Antonia Bird (who replaced another director 2 weeks into shooting) makes an interesting brew of her odd ingredients — polished production design and wardrobe worthy of a Merchant Ivory flick, a fine cast headlined by Guy Pierce, Robert Carlyle, and Jeffrey Jones, a screenplay that takes its cues from The Third Man, and one of the most bizarre and interesting musical scores of the past few decades. Bird proves especially adept at building suspense, especially in a protracted cave scene where our heroes make a grisly discovery that forever changes their lives… and ends a few.

Even though the film dips a toe in broad comedy, there are some legitimately suspenseful and horrifying moments, as well as a good twist or two — all in all, a beguiling blend.  Bon appétit!

Rating: 4/5 ★★★★☆ 

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About Scott_S

Scott studied film and sociology at Indiana University and is currently the video producer for a large publishing company. He is the director of several independent films, including "House of Hope," "Off the Beaten Path," "The Day Joe Left," and "Found." For more about Scott, visit www.scottschirmer.com. Scott is also one of the principal organizers of the Dark Carnival Film Festival. (www.darkcarnivalfilmfest.com)

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