Horror comedy ‘Eat Local’ is actor Jason Flemyng’s directorial debut about a group of vampires who gather for a meeting that occurs once every 50 years, but is disrupted when Sebastian (a human who is clueless to the real reason he’s there) and soldiers who are ordered to hunt “cold bodies” get involved. There’s many recognisable faces from British television in the film such as Freema Agyeman, Eve Myles, Ruth Jones and Mackenzie Crook – and perhaps most surprisingly, Charlie Cox.
Although I enjoyed the film overall, the tone is all over the place as there isn’t much balance between the horror and comedy elements in my opinion. Some parts are serious – particularly at the beginning of the film which convinces you that the film will be serious (even a little boring…I just felt that it went on a bit too long at the start). Then it brings in comedy through Sebastian’s character that really contrasts with the tone that it just took the time to establish. It could have been a bit more focused in this sense, but I still think the film is a good start for Flemyng if he plans on making more films.
One thing that bothered me the most was Larousse, Mackenzie Crook’s character. Not so much the writing as the acting – he kind of seemed like he didn’t want to be there and could have done a lot better, or maybe he just wasn’t suited to the role. Considering the character’s motivation is unclear until the end, it required a strong performance and could have made for a far more interesting character. Furthermore, Angel (played by Agyeman) could have had more backstory and development through the writing; Henry (Cox) and Boniface (Tony Curran) had stronger senses of character conveyed through dialogue in comparison. However, I would actually like to see more of Henry’s character in a prequel with a darker tone, as Cox gave a good performance and was the most intriguing.
Despite its drawbacks, ‘Eat Local’ was a good starting point for Flemyng to pursue a career in directing, and it seems like he had fun with it as the film doesn’t take itself too seriously. I would actually be interested in seeing a more focused sequel to the film – or even better, as I mentioned, a prequel for Henry’s backstory.