Written by Josh Lambie – Student Pages Student Writer
The plot follows a group of vampires who are meeting in an old cottage house in a rural village. One of them has lured a young man under the pretences of sex, to either convert him to their vampiric ways or eat him. At the same time, an army platoon has surrounded the area with the intention of killing all of the demons.
It is a shame that Eat Locals does not work as well as it could have. It could have developed a nice little cult following. It certainly had the potential; an eccentric script that is too quirky for wide mainstream success, a British cast of familiar faces and a unique premise that puts an original spin on the over worn vampire sub-genre. Unfortunately this horror comedy does not reach these heights.
I have a feeling that Jason Fleming, making his directorial debut here, was the wrong director for this material. The comedy sometimes falls flat and I got the feeling that the producers did not want to go all in with the horror elements of the film (possibly to retain a 15 rating, I am not sure). But if you compare this to the cream of the crop of horror comedies, Shaun of The Dead, you can spot the missteps. Whereas the former film’s affection for the works of George Romero oozes out of every gory zombie bite and gunshot, I didn’t feel that passion in this film. The comedy seems to be based on the slapstick and one liners of old British sitcoms (there is even a very clear homage to those 1970s sitcoms in the end credits, with each actor getting a freeze frame as their name appears). It seemed like the filmmakers were limited by how much blood they could even show. If a film plans to be an ode to classic horrors or even intends to be a twisted black comedy, it should not have to hold back. There shouldn’t be half measures.
But still, the film has charms that break through the cracks of its failures. This is mainly down to the cast, with fine supporting performances given by Charlie Cox and Tony Curran as two of the vampires. Newcomer Billy Cook also gives a good central comic performance. The script, too has its moments, mainly when the mythology of the films vampires are explored. Sadly, too many ideas seem half baked. The passion of the filmmakers for the project is commendable, considering their financial limitations.
While I am glad that British film does not have to always resort to period dramas and gritty social realism, this foray into camp horror comedy doesn’t induce too many chills or laughs.