Director Antonia Bird
Writer Ted Griffin
Stars Guy Pearce, Robert Carlyle, Jeremy Davies
Made UK/US/Mexico/Czech Republic/Slovakia
Reviewed by The Wolf
BEFORE the script goes belly up, this eating-people-makes-you-strong movie has an hypnotic fascination. Perhaps, it's Robert Carlyle, with a hobo faceover, acting goofy in a foreign wood. Lovely stuff.
Capt. John Boyd (Guy Pearce) is a war hero from the American-Mexican fracas of 1840something, who is so traumatised by the experience that he becomes the most boring man in the US army and is posted to Fort Spencer ("This place thrives on tedium"), a dump in the Nevadas, where a ragbag of loonies sit about waiting for the weather to change.
One night a half-frozen straggler (Carlyle) collapses at their door, telling of being trapped in a cave on the mountain during winter blizzards with a handful of settlers, where, in order to survive, they killed and ate each other. He escaped before becoming next week's main course. They trek to the cave through heavy snow for days in the hope of finding someone alive and discover an altogether different horror. The English director, Antonia Bird, seems intoxicated by the sight of blood. She can't get enough.
As the story slides into gothic absurdity, suggesting among other unmentionables that eating human flesh cures mortal wounds and is, in some way, supernatural, an orgy of killing begins. By this stage, there is nothing left to do but park your lunch.