Noob Reviews: The Young Cannibals
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included helping explain specific points.
What is The Young Cannibals?
Released in October 2020 in the UK, The Young Cannibals is a horror film that follows the misadventure of a group of friends camping out by the lake.
What is meant to start as a good deed where Nat is broken out of a mental health facility by her boyfriend Ethan to celebrate her birthday. Soon turns into a fight for their very survival as an eccentric campsite owner (Blackwood) kidnaps the group and attempts to feed them to an ancient evil that stalks the woods surrounding the lake area and preys purely upon those who have feasted on human flesh.
Now you may be asking yourself, are the campers cannibals? And the obvious answer would be no. Unless, of course, to feed the beast and keep it sated (and off of Blackwood’s trail), there was a way to have unwary hikers and campers consume human flesh without them knowing. Perhaps some sort of burger patty, maybe.
What type of genre is the film?
The Young Cannibals is a creature feature horror film with thriller-esque elements.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- The official trailer linked from the Movie Trailers Source YouTube channel -
Who are some of the actors and actresses that we might know?
For a full cast listing, please see the official IMDB page here.
What did you think of The Young Cannibals?
The trailer for The Young Cannibals is a thrilling, action-packed ride with jump scares, interesting looking monsters and a real sense of fighting for survival against the odds - but unfortunately, although the film is a fun little watch, it is let down by a few elements.
When it comes to the story, I really like the opening sequence to The Young Cannibals and how the backstory is laid out as to how we have arrived in the current situation and who exactly Blackwood is. Unfortunately, though, for the most part, the story is very predictable with minimum surprises and most of the big scares you can see coming a mile off. Don’t get me wrong, there were still a few scares that startled me, but for the majority of them, you can prepare yourself for them. I found it quite disappointing that there was not more done to make the film stand out and be unique with the story, the environment and a bit more delving into the characters’ pasts and story arcs. It just seemed as if, in the grand scheme of things, the story was watered down or overly simplified to appeal to a larger audience instead of being a hardcore horror. Had the horror elements been stuck to more closely and executed in a more polished fashion, this film would have definitely been an enormous hit.
Regarding the cast and their delivery, there was a rather interesting selection of characters amongst the cast, where you had the forgettable characters who you felt no interest in and those you may have loved and really paid attention to. For example, Blackwood was fantastically creepy, and Nat works brilliantly as the heroine. They were two of my personal favourites throughout the film. But I found Ethan to quite quickly fall into overprotective boyfriend stereotypes. And Nat’s brother (who I believe was called Reid) just drains any entertainment from a scene with his lack of likeable qualities and the constant need for self-preservation over group survival. In general, there seemed to be an imbalance throughout where the quality of acting would rise and fall quite steeply, not only from actor/actress to actor/actress but even with the same character, making it difficult to take the film seriously.
Last but not least, the cannibal hunting fiend was dull and really pulled its punches, failing to deliver any substantial scare value continuously, especially as it was rather obvious it was someone wearing a suit or costume. When getting too close to the camera in the scenes, it looked like it had rubberised skin, which ruined the more serious horror moments when it was stalking its prey and getting ready to attack. In general, though, the poor execution of the main enemy for the group was the last in a series of failures with no real attention-grabbing special effects and very questionable cuts away from the action. A prime example of this would be in the final fight between Nat and the beast. So many parts are sped up or cut out that you find yourself more thinking about what happened off-scene than seeing what actually unfolded between the two.
As I said above, the film is a fun little watch but nothing really to write home about. Although there are far worse films out there, there are definitely many better creature features or cannibal films - depending on your taste.
I should just mention that as a saving grace, the locations picked for shooting were fantastic, but due to the majority of the film taking place at night, you only get brief glimpses. And although inconsistent, there are some genuinely exciting moments where the acting is on point, and the jump scares catch you off guard - it is just a shame the rest of the film was not structured to the same standard.
What rating would you give The Young Cannibals?
I would rate The Young Cannibals as a below-average 2.2 out of 5 bananas.
What comes across as a suspense-filled fight for survival against an otherworldly being - falls flat with mediocre acting, questionable choices in angles and cuts for the cinematography and rather unenergetic delivery of lines. Although The Young Cannibals is a bit of a no brainer, you can just sit back and watch. It is not really something you will be missing out on if you give it a miss.
Thank you very much for checking out the review. If you are interested in The Young Cannibals and would like to check it out yourself, to form your own opinion - you can find the film on Amazon Prime Video, DVD or included as part of the Showtime streaming package.