31 Days of Horror - Eat (2014)

Novella McClure (Meggie Maddock) is an aspiring actress scraping by in Hollywood. She hasn't landed a role in three years, she's about to be evicted, and her controlling best friend, Candice (Ali Francis), won't let her quit acting and move on. So, like a lot of women self-conscious about their bodies, she develops an eating disorder.

Except this is a horror film, so anorexia or bulimia won't do: Novella begins uninterested in any food but her own flesh. If this sounds a bit like an idea for a horror movie one of your stoned friends had after accidentally biting their finger while downing some Cheetos that's because it might have been. Although that premise alone sounds pretty promising someone high on Blueberry Kush, a full length feature film it does not make.

This movie is basically a poor man's Starry Eyes (which is great and I highly recommend it) -- another film that tackles a young actress slowly unraveling after one too many failed auditions. There's a sense that the filmmakers want to discuss eating disorders and the pressures society puts on women to be skinny at all costs, but there's no clever horror social commentary here.

Basically this aspiring young actress, Novella, starts eating herself, and it's supposed to be a metaphor for how LA eats up the young actors who try to make it in the city. But like she's consuming herself, soooo...? It's a real mess. On top of its muddled premise and pseudo-social-commentary, it turns out a girl beginning to eat her own flesh is not enough to fill an hour and a half of film plot, so the movie throws in some weird detours along the way with her gloriously batshit insane best friend who is somehow the best and worst part of the film. I'm still trying to figure out if the writer/director wrote himself into a hole trying to come up with an exciting climax to a film about a girl peeling her flesh off and eating it, so he shrugged and said "what if her best friend Candice decides to become a psychopath when I get to the point where I need a climax?" Additionally, as a gay dude I'm grossed out that part of the big revelation that Candice is nuts includes her admission to having always been in love with Novella. You know, because gay people are insane and instead of rationally communicating their feelings, they go on a killing spree.

I got a few good laughs here and there (there's a really hilarious, triumphant part where Novella tells off some porn casting directors played out in slow motion), and Novella eating herself will surely make you turn away from the screen in disgust, but this director should have admitted his premise wasn't good enough for a feature length.

5/10 Stars.