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Cannibal Farm

Coming Soon

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Traditionally, the title of a film is supposed to represent its contents. Words in a title are meant to be short, yet generous and imaginative in description. The best choice and combination of specified and descriptive words in a title can speak volumes to its contents. At the very least, an effective title should simply just make sense. Otherwise, the title is deceiving and becomes a misrepresentation of its contents. The protagonists in Cannibal Farm make no effort to escape the farm (which is simply a barn), and the film seems to lack any cannibals.

The film begins with two boys bullying and trapping another boy in a sack. While the two bullies light their cigarettes afterward, the sack containing the captured boy catches fire, then rolls into a stream. Hunt Hansen (Barrington De La Roche) and his wife rush down to the stream to save their son. The fire had burned only the boy’s face. Unable to deal with her son’s now disfigured face (more like just a really filthy face), mother burns herself alive. Hunt is inconsolable. He kills the two bullies, then decides to further take his grief out on passing tourists – capturing them in cages, sharing stories with them in his gravely voice,  then dismembering them. Hunt’s son, now an adult, dresses like Leatherface (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and terrorizes the victims with a chainsaw and sledgehammer.

Nearby, the Harver family, who clearly can’t stand each other, decide to travel together and set up camp on the side of a road. Stepfather Wesley Wallace (Toby Wynn-Davies), mother Katherine Harver (Rowena Bentley), sons Toby and Sam (David Lenik and Dylan Curtis), daughter Jessica (Kate Davies-Speak), and Jessica’s fiance’ Kurt Daniels (Joe Street) decide to split up and take in the landscape. Soon, Hunt captures the family – subjecting them to his storytelling and inevitable dismembering practices. No one is ever witnessed on screen ever eating the procured body parts, and the family is presented with multiple opportunities to escape the barn, but they choose to fight instead. There are moments throughout the film where it seems unclear who is the bigger threat – Hunt and his chainsaw-welding son, or the family members with each other. Neither the protagonists nor antagonists use any clear thought and any reasonable judgment in their decisions – they would rather deceive and dismember, than defuse and discuss.

Director Charlie Steeds seems to have had an average horror film concept on paper, but the resulting film feels like the collection of concepts were thrown together. An obvious giveaway is allowing one of the main adversaries to appear, act, and be marketed as a Leatherface clone. It is more likely than not that any average horror fan will recognize this detail and question the ‘integrity’ of the film. Cannibal Farm is Steeds second feature-length film, with four more features on the way.

This film is barely memorable. Instead of renting this film, consider renting any of the actual Chainsaw Massacre films. Even the worst additions in the Chainsaw series wouldn’t dare tease a Leatherface clone.

Cannibal Farm is streaming now on the following services:
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