Top positive review
Great Acting, Direction, and Cinematography -- Almost Undone by the Writing
on October 5, 2015
A while back, I read the book "The Monster of Florence," which started out as a terrific read and then just ended as a very good one. The problem was, I thought that the author wrote himself too much into the book in Part Three, which is maybe unfair, because I suppose he didn't have much choice. At any rate, I was thinking about that still-unknown killer while watching this film.
Without giving much away about this movie -- or that story -- early in the first act, "Carlos" is eyeing his victim and eyeing a particular part of her anatomy. I'm sure I'm not the first person who has watched this film who has also thought, "Um, what's he going to do?!? Is he going to eat THAT?!" The film doesn't seem to go in that direction, but most of the gore is only implied so it is unclear what he actually does.
This film looks fantastic. The cinematography in particular is really strong, and there are many great shots: a still camera with a dark room and a small window; a still camera and an open doorway with heavy rain falling; and many scenes that take place in the mountains with fresh snowfall are beautiful. But where this film might fall apart -- if you call giving a 4 out of 5 rating "falling apart" -- is in some of the writing with regards to Carlos. Carlos is a very organized serial killer -- he may be a cannibal, but it shouldn't be forgotten that he is also a serial killer -- and so all of his actions should be well thought out for him. This next paragraph might have a few minor spoilers:
1. If you're a cannibal, you would put a very high price tag on human flesh. After all, it is very hard to come by. Why doesn't he have a lock on his refrigerator, and why doesn't he have a back-up power generator? What if the power goes out?
2. He let a gal into his apartment and allowed her to go into the kitchen, where she obviously peeks in the refrigerator. This guy would not allow this to happen, under any circumstances. This would be a show-stopper for him.
3. You know the expression: don't, well, you-know-what where you eat. Well, Carlos kills at least one woman in his apartment complex. No way. Most serial killers are smart enough to not kill anyone they know, but they also avoid killing people that are too close in proximity. They are serial killers, which mean they've killed at least three people, which means they've been successful, which means they don't make too many mistakes. This was a huge mistake.
4. Carlos doesn't kill the sister of a gal he's already murdered when he easily has the opportunity -- which maybe I can buy -- but he TELLS this sister, after the fact, that he killer her sister. No. . . Way. Well, if he did, you know another saying: "I could tell you but then I'd have to kill you." He would have.
5. Carlos keeps a flier from a gal that he's killed and leaves it hanging in his kitchen. I doubt it. If the cops ever came snooping around, and they asked him, "Did you know so and so?" and he replied "No," they'd simply point at the flier and ask him why he's lying. And then he'd start to sweat.
END SPOILER ALERT
Well, the critics were a little tough on this film -- I believe only 50 percent liked it on Rotten Tomatoes -- and I can understand why they'd complain. But while I will complain about some of the writing, I thought that the direction, acting, and cinematography were pretty terrific. So I'm going to cannibalize those critics myself and go with a strong 4, as I thought that "Cannibal" was surprisingly tasty.