Review: Charlie Steeds’ Cannibal Farm

Our readers have been skewering this one on Facebook, branding it as nothing more than a cheaply produced Texas Chainsaw Massacre rip-off. I get it. I really do, but I pressure you to look deeper. The one-sheet is very reminiscent of the iconic horror film from 1974 and both villains look extremely similar. However, not every dude in a mask with a chainsaw is Leatherface, just like every great white slasher with a butcher’s knife isn’t Michael Myers. Where Tobe Hooper’s greatest accomplishment wears a mask of human skin to show an arrange of emotions, the murderer in Cannibal Farm wears a mask of human flesh because he was severely disfigured in a childhood accident. Coincidental? Yes. But not a rip-off. And not cheaply produced, either. In this feature film written, directed, produced and edited by Charlie Steeds, a fractured family head out on a summer camping trip that’s sabotaged by a deranged lunatic. The family seeks shelter on a creepy, isolated farm, only to find that they’ve stumbled right into the lion’s den… and he’s brought company. A mix of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes, Cannibal Farm is seeing release via High Octane Pictures on January 2, 2018.

Shot by Dark Temple Motion Pictures, Cannibal Farm features cinematography from Michael Lloyd and stars Kate Marie Davis, Barrington De La Roche, David Lenik, Rowena Bentley, Toby Wynn-Davies, Peter Cosgrove, Joe Street, Dylan Curtis and Sam Lane. As a production, I have no complaints in regards to this film except that I didn’t agree with the opening sequence establishing the film’s fucked up killer. It was silent, classical and almost artistic, and it just didn’t fit in cohesively with a movie about a chainsaw wielding psychopath and his equally maniacal father and friends. I mean, it looks great, but it seemed like an almost entirely different piece of cinema. It was too old fashioned. As a story, I also have no complaints either than the fact that I feel as if the family would have no survival skills what-so-ever and their fight back sequences would have gone off terribly and resulted in quicker, earlier deaths. The way they were written made them all seem like a bunch of pussies, and I just didn’t see any fight in them from a realistic standpoint. And to put comparison’s to Texas Chainsaw to sleep even more, I have to say that Cannibal Farm is dark and disturbing, but it’s not nearly as dirty, gritty, sweaty and grizzly as Texas Chainsaw. It’s its own gory, scary beast.

And, most importantly, it’s a lot more complex than the movie that stars Marilyn Burns. It’s so much more than a dude chasing after a family while swinging around a chainsaw. That’s the key, that’s where it succeeds. Cannibal Farm is full of unexpected twists, sinister plot building elements, and genuine moments of suspense. The urban legend that was not so well received in the beginning is fleshed out as the film progresses and that allows the audience to focus on the story instead of searching for answers. I don’t know if I believed the ending of this flick either, much in the same way that I doubt the family could actually fight back, but overall this was an enjoyable adventure. It features performances from very strong British actors, cinematography that highlights the lovely UK countryside, buckets of gore and dismembered body parts, and yes – nods (just nods) to one of the greatest films in horror history. Hell, it’s even got twinges of comedy, too. My only complaint is Charlie Steeds going a little overboard with the writing and stumbling over himself. Still, as literally the only captain sailing this ship, he did an excellent job! This one’s worth checking out, folks. Give it a shot.

Final Score: 6.5 out of 10.

Written by Michael Therkelsen

(Senior Editor)

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