Sebastian Crockett – a delivery guy with little education – is brought by Vanessa, a middle-age woman, to a remote farmhouse in Essex (England), where he thinks he will make out with her.
Sabastian will soon discover that he’s the main course in a vampire gathering which takes place every 50 years.
The villa he’s brought to is surrounded by soldiers who tracked the vampires and aim to tear them apart.
This is the basic plot to a British horror-comedy filled with good actors and nice locations.
Unfortunately, though, Eat LocalS doesn’t fulfil the premises and resolves into a mixed-bag that could (and should) have been better than how it actually is.
Directed by Jason Flemyng, a quite fair actor at his debut behind the camera, this film is indubitably a comedy more than a horror. And the comedic aspect is definitely the best part of it.
Comic-wise, Eat LocalS is a good amalgamation between British humour, references to vampire flicks, spoofs and parodies. I honestly chuckled and giggled throughout the majority of the film, with a couple of scenes where I even laughed out loud in my room by myself (look out for the sequence with the “flying chicken”).
The action scenes are pretty cool as well. Dynamically crafted, the fights between soldiers and vampire benefit from a well-directed camera-work and convincing stunts.
Other than that, the movie is a bit of a mess.
Firstly, there are too many subplots thrown in the mix which appear unnecessary and, at times, rather confusing. There are so many things that don’t need to be in the film, namely the psycho-couple that owns the house where the vampire gathering – besides a couple of laughs, their presence is not required in the movie and doesn’t serve any purpose.
Also, there is so much wasted potential in regards to the cast. Eat LocalS has Charlie Cox, Freema Agyeman and Mackenzie Crook – among the others – in it, and doesn’t know what to do with them. Their performance is okay, middle-of-the-road, but the characters they portray are hollow and uninteresting.
Yet, the military side of the story is filled with mannequins that are there just to be killed and carry the plot along.
I understand that their presence in the movie is somewhat necessary – otherwise it will look like a British version of the Australian What We Do In The Shadows (brilliant film, by the way) – but I would have liked to see them developed better and more in-depth.
Again, the lack of a clear – and distinguishable – main character makes it harder to have someone to root for in the film, which depersonalise the story and lowers the level of care within the audience.
To sum it up, Eat LocalS is far from being a bad movie, but at the same time is very difficult for me to recommend it, partly because horror-comedy tastes are very much depending on the singular person; partly because the potential wasted in the film might make it look worse than it, in fact, is.
So, give it a chance if you are not looking for the next chapter of the Cornetto Trilogy. In other words, watch it only if you want to have some basic entertainment but don’t expect anything mind-bowing. Cheers!