Foreign horror films are always going to make for an interesting watch. I’m always interested in how horror translates to different languages and the similarities and differences in filmmaking and direction. Guto Parente’s CANNIBAL CLUB is a fun romp and almost a voyeuristic view into the lives of the ultra-rich elite in Brazil.
Throughout the film we follow Otavio and Gilda, who reside in their ultra-chic beach home and have an insatiable hunger for a non-conventional source of meat. In other words, they’re cannibals. Day in and day out they kill the help and serve them up. If I’m going to be completely honest, human meat looks pretty darn good in this movie. Picture the prefect medium rare steak carved and served on a lovely platter while you are poolside in the richest part of Brazil.
Otavio is the successful owner of his own security company and every once in a while, him and his successful friends (all men) convene in a rendezvous of sorts where they talk about everything from being successful to cheating on their wives. Picture the secret club in Eyes Wide Shut, with the same amount of sex but with more murder. These men meet and recruit fresh meat (pun intended) for the soul purpose of a fancy dinner.
One day while attending a fancy party, Gilda stumbles upon powerful congressman Borges – a notable member of the secret sex meat eating club – in a compromising position and from then on, her and Otavio must watch their backs as they fear for their lives.
What I enjoyed about this movie is that the characters don’t really have any sort of backstory. We’re basically thrown into the lives of Octavio and Gilda and every character in the film is an exaggeration of the 1% which is hilarious on its own. The film is dripping in satire and although its in a different language (Portuguese), it translates very well. One listen to the first five minutes with its jazzy sleazy saxophone-centric soundtrack and you know you’re in for a treat.
A lot of the way the film is shot is dependent on super long tracking shots where they stay on the same scene for a long period of time leaving you feeling tense and on edge. The final scene is actually a great example of the camera lingering on a particular shot for a little too long.
Although for me I felt as though the film dragged on a bit in parts, I enjoyed CANNIBAL CLUB. Its one of those movies where you laugh (and you’re supposed to) but you still feel slightly uncomfortable in doing so.