Review: Cannibal (Canibal)

Cannibal (Canibal
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Director: Manuel Martín Cuenca
Cert: Club
Genre: Crime
Starring: Antonio de la Torre, Olimpia Melinte
Running Time: 1 hr 56 mins

Carlos (Antonio de la Torre, excellent) is a neat, mild-mannered, dapper gentleman tailor living in Grenada, a respectable member of his community.

So, when the Catholic Church needs someone to restore an ornately embroidered textile, Carlos is considered sufficiently holy for the task. If only they had stopped to look at his face during the transubstantiation part of their services – because on weekends Carlos is a cannibal who hunts down and carefully prepares choicest cuts of human at his Sierra Nevada cabin.

His ordered life provides perfect cover for such activities until a kindly Romanian immigrant (Olimpia Melinte) – the identical twin sister of a recent victim – moves in next door. Having never felt anything for another person, Carlos is conflicted: how will this potential dinner date go?

Manuel Martin Cuenca’s fourth feature is so perfectly balanced it’s like looking inside a marvellous clock. Languid pacing, contemplative character study and elegant cinematography offset the film’s ghoulish leanings. There is, moreover, a well-told love story lurking under the unsavoury menu.

Tara Brady

Tara Brady

Tara Brady, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a writer and film critic