June 22, 2003

Great atmosphere, a really wonderful and odd collection of actors, and a tantalizing first act made me hopeful; the rest of the movie didn’t. When I thought this cannibalism-in-the-American-West story was going to become a monster movie, I was rather excited. The actual story that unfolds doesn’t do much with the Native American cannibal myths it draws from or the powers we’re told people get by eating each other. That’s a real shame.

Once again, I wish the creative folks behind this picture had avoided unnecessary comedic relief. The atmosphere and tension in Ravenous is about all it has going for it. Despite the level of gore, I still wish the movie had been fiercier, scarier, and more certain in its tone. This even happens within the first thirty seconds of the movie. Seriously.

Gamers, horror movie fans, and the sort might still very much enjoy this picture, though. Acting fans and players of the Kevin Bacon game will also want to remember this movie. Otherwise, the movie is pretty much it’s advertised as; it won’t convince any viewers who come to it with doubts. Roger Ebert gave Ravenous three stars, recommending it for its surprises and blending of vampire and cannibal movies. He supposed that it was a classic dish in a new sauce. I say it’s a fine blend of sauces, which fans might enjoy the taste of, but there’s nothing to eat underneath it all.


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