Every fifty years, a clan of vampires assemble for a meeting at a large, isolated cottage in the quiet English countryside. The time has come again, and they're all arriving one by one...they reside all over, and this is one of the rare occasions they all see each other.
Human lad Sebastian (Billy Cook) is waiting for his ride away from a deserted train station. It comes, and he jumps inside ready for his date with the alluring driver Vanessa (Eve Myles).
Meanwhile, back at the house, the vampires are bickering to each other, 'you hunted on my land' this, 'you have no morals' that. Members present include carefree Angel (Freema Agyeman), down-to-business Henry (Charlie Cox), apparent leader Boniface (Tony Curran), old lady Alice (Annette Crosbie) and four others. None of them appear violent, nor too different-acting from humans, though they maintain many traditional characteristics of their species...strong, fast, nocturnal etc.
After the execution of one member for having been caught drinking a child's blood (considered disgraceful, fucked up behaviour...), the vampiric Vanessa and her human companion make a timely entry, and the real reason Sebastian was taken there comes to light. They were now one short of a typical clan of 8 vampires, and he was Vanessa's recommendation. Refusing their proposal, they tell him they can't let him go, and he clumsily attempts an escape from the house.
But the vampires have bigger problems. A military squad have positioned themselves nearby, hunting an alleged vampire sneaking through the area that night. Just one, they think. Soon a fight begins between the humans and the undead, and things get very very bloody...
Danny King's light, cheeky script makes EAT LOCALS a horror-comedy without a doubt, and it's clear that first-time director Jason Flemyng wanted his audience to chuckle instead of scream. Following an appreciably calm opening, which fooled me into expecting something more sombre than the film ahead was, I was laughing in the first ten minutes. King has come up with some cool dialogue that is sometimes too silly not to be laughed at, in a good way.
Unfortunately, it seems to lose itself pretty quickly, due to the needlessly slow pacing and lack of anything major really happening for a good while. Characters talk, wander the house, look out the windows, but there's little action onscreen, save for a cheesy fight scene in a barn, that gets back your attention after so long of nothing. In the final act, I became confused often as to the fates of certain characters, and was wondering what had happened to some whom I'd quite honestly just forgotten about.
An impressive ensemble has been collected here: Tony Curran, Freema Agyeman, Mackenzie Crook... and you can just tell everybody had a good time shooting. One complaint I must make is about the character of Sebastian...Cook's acting is overly theatrical, his cockiness most annoying, and his reactions to certain events just make no sense, even in a film as comedically-focused as this one.
The ending is totally strange and unrelated to the rest of the film. It's almost funny for a second, but when you think about it, it makes zero sense.
An online screener of the film was sent to me to review, no extras on hand but a DVD/VOD release is slated for October 30th.
EAT LOCALS premiered at Frightfest on the 26th of August. Actress Agyeman assures us that no vampires were harmed in the making of the film.
The laughs don't last, nor do the scares ever really begin, but I found EAT LOCALS to be an inoffensive film that could still keep you entertained. Just don't expect greatness.
Review by Elliott Moran
|Released by Spirit Entertainment Limited|