Rating: 7 out of 10 Bites
Directed by Jimmy Weber, Eat tells the story of an aging young woman named Novella (Meggie Maddock), who is desperately trying to make it in the dog-eat-dog world of the Hollywood Z-lister. She hasn’t landed a role in over three years, and her savings ran dry months ago. Despite her desperate attempts to live like the Hollywood elite with Starbucks and glitzy clothing, Novella is in debt, and she’s on a downward spiral to nowhere.
We watch as she pinballs from audition waiting room to booze-soaked night club and back again, until she finally begins to unravel. She develops the strange nervous habit of chewing off pieces of her own flesh, which quickly escalates into an all-consuming problem.
As far as horror movies go, Eat offers something unexpected. There are no supernatural elements, no monsters, and no real jump scares, yet it’s one of the more disturbing movies I’ve seen as of late. It’s terrifying in a real world, descent-into-the-inescapable-undertow-of-depression sort of way. And while the subject Eat explores may be real, the execution is surreal, disturbing, and bloody as hell.
As a whole, Eat doesn’t have the makings of a Hollywood box-office hit; its a relatively low-budget film with acting that, for the most part, reflects that. Meggie Maddock is perhaps the only actress worth noting; her performance as the disturbed Novella McClure is both tragic and convincing, and although her delivery isn’t always perfect, it’s hard to imagine Novella played by anyone else.
Another noteworthy aspect of the film is certainly the cinematography. Again, it’s not perfect (Let’s be real, nothing about this movie is.), but its worth mentioning because it manages to tell a story of its own. The film revolves around Novella, and while we are introduced to other characters, none of them play too big of a role in her life. Quite often, we see Novella in solitude, sans any form of dialogue, allowing imagery and camerawork to tell part of the story. It’s in these scenes that we get the clearest glimpses into her development as a character and her inevitable descent.
Eat definitely isn’t going to win any awards. It’s flawed, but so are so many great movies in this genre. Learn to embrace the flaws, or at least try to ignore them, because watching this movie makes for a hell of a good time.
Streaming: Amazon Prime