This film from director and writer Charlie Steeds is clearly influenced by the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise, earning release on Video on Demand via High Octane Pictures, and thanks to Dark Temple Motion Pictures production isn’t overly reliant on gore, but delivers on some low-level thrills while attempting not to foreshadow too much. Steeds shows that inspiration for the movie comes from his passion of the late 70s and slasher 80s with twisted images, Motel Hell (1980), all of it cooking to a meaty conclusion.
The story involves the Harver family in crisis, taking a road trip of supposedly fun and bonding in the British countryside, leaving behind past turmoils and differences. As commonly found in the horror genre, the tensions swell often, strained relationships, herein a struggle for the film itself, deciding when to switch more to a horror tale than a dramatic storytelling and forcing a moral message against the meat industry. This affects the dialogue, too preachy and entrenching more drama, and leaving the audience lost. The family’s actions and behaviors make them highly annoying and the viewers likely rooting for their demise especially when the mother starts singing to her roasting child, seriously it happens. However, before then we have the family attacked in countryside, a bit like The Hills Have Eyes (1977), though no one quite like Michael Berryman. The battered family escapes to refuge in a farmhouse, not for long as they meet the Steeds’ version of Leatherface, deformed child-minded man wearing human flesh, with Barrington De La Roche as Hunt Hansen, his name a nod to Gunnar Hansen. Soon the family shoved into cages, as the movie conveys the point of how we treat animals, without any care, hence noting the purpose of their capture for a large more clandestine action. Cannibal Farm incorporates everything from Saw to Sweeny Todd , some chainsaw playtime and pitchfork thrusting for vengeance, maniacal behaviors and Jessica Harver (Kate Marie Davies (Apparition of Evil ) defending her family and showing just how tough a vegan can be in a world of murders.
A mixture of quick and slo-mo shots from cinematographer Michael Lloyd, greatly helps to avoid the possible repetitive shots of victims trapped in cages. After all, how many different ways can the scene be filmed with a problem occurring, but Lloyd holds an ace, for every horror movie on his resume all under director Steeds, therefore he knows what the Charlie desires. The film generates some mild jump scares, violent displays, with only a few pacing issues, as it tries often not to saturate itself in gore and buckets of blood, but why not the title of the movie states Cannibal Farm, hence the audience knows what to expect and aches for the anguish of dismemberment.
One wishes Steeds took a slightly different path and create his own version of a demented family, instead of embracing Texas Chain Saw Massacre, ideally venturing more into the exploitative genre which often overlaps into the horror market. This not to say the movie lacks entertaining, it gives an equal balance as long you don’t mind a preach moral aspect and some odd dialogue mixing with your cannibalism hunger and desires. However, as a tease looking ahead as what Steeds planning to unleash on the horror landscapes at least three movies in post-production and another slated in the announce category.
IMDb Rating: 3.7/10
Baron’s Rating: 3.5/10