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Critic Reviews for Cannibal
Unhurried in its pacing, exquisitely photographed and very sparing in its presentation of bloodshed and violence, "Cannibal" observes but does not comment.
A meticulous lead performance by Antonio de la Torre is the one saving grace of this dumb, arty horror movie from Spain.
Knowing as little about Carlos as we do makes for a film that frustrates.
Cuenca's mixture of beauty and grotesquerie brings enough edginess to Carlos' murderous and loving ways.
Antonio de la Torre is brilliant as a killer and eater of young women in Manuel Martin Cuenca's sumptuously lensed psychological drama.
Audience Reviews for Cannibal
This, technically, isn't a bad film in the slightest. It's beautifully filmed with an excellent central performance from Antonio de la Torre. But, honestly, a lot of this film feels incredibly self-indulgent. And what I mean by that is the fact that this feels like a short film stretched out to two hours. The movie, honestly, really starts at around the midway point, when Alexandra's sister comes into the equation. Everything prior to that is a set-up, a red herring if you will. It's, honestly, a bit of a dull movie to watch at times because scenes are stretched out past their breaking point. I watched this in two sittings and I, definitely, think that helped a lot cause I don't know how I would've gotten through it in one sitting without dying of boredom. Again, it's never a bad film and it has some interesting ideas at play here with this cannibal falling in love, theoretically, with one of his potential victims. But those ideas simply aren't enough to carry a near two-hour movie. It just feels empty and shallow despite, again, having some interesting ideas and religious symbolism at play here. And I say 'theoretically falling in love with one of his victims' because there's no real sense that Nina, Alexandra's sister, was really anything special to Carlos, with the exception of, maybe, the last couple of minutes. I know that Carlos is purposely distant, cold and unapproachable, due to the nature of his more violent nature, so I'm completely aware of the fact that he isn't a man who will openly showcase his emotions, this is where Antonio de la Torre shines, at being understated and subtle, but there isn't a believable connection between Carlos and Nina at all. The film doesn't have a lot of conventional dialogue, so that's not really it, but their moments together lack a certain spark. It's something that you see when two people are really in love, like they don't even have to say anything and you sense a connection between them. This movie fails at that. Maybe the chemistry between Antonio and Olimpia, who plays both Nina and Alexandra, isn't there, but they're not bad together. It's not like their chemistry creates a black hole that sucks in everything else in the film. It's just really lacking. The individual performances are strong, but they just don't come together as well as the film probably thinks it does. So that lack of sparks between the leads and the self-indulgent nature of scenes being 10x longer than they need to be really holds the movie back, to me. It's not a bad movie, but it definitely would've benefited from a lot of time-shaving. Honestly, I wouldn't have even bothered introducing Alexandra. Maybe you show her moving in and everything, but Carlos has no interactions with her, then Nina comes into the equation after Alex goes missing and everything plays out as it played out without actually revealing that Carlos is a cannibal until the climactic act of the film. That, to me, sounds like a better film. But it was not to be and I have to review the film as it is and not as I wished it would've been. I still think the film is a little laborious to get through and not that rewarding of a watch. Excellent performances from the leads doesn't really do anything to change that. If you must watch this, then go right ahead, but it's a film that's not really gonna make much of an impression. It's beautifully filmed, but you can watch beautifully shot footage on YouTube. That's simply not enough to justify watching this. Good concepts and themes, shoddy execution.
The beautiful cinematography and production design do a great job to illustrate the character's meticulosity and tidiness, but it is a pity though that what could have been an intriguing character study gets undermined by an artificial, naive attempt at a bizarre love story.
This kind of film is normally way out of my comfort zone, but I found this intriguing. A psychological thriller wrapped around a love story, this somewhat reminded me of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The ending struck me as strange, and maybe even a little weak. But, knowing what we knew about Carlos, the meek tailor with a dark secret, there was a sense of foreboding that carried throughout the film that kept the tension level at a peak. In Spanish with English subtitles, currently available on Netfilx streaming.
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