Eat Locals

**

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Eat Locals
"An ambitious film that suffers from a visibly stretched budget, Eat Locals fails to live up to the promise of its wonderful title but does have some great moments."

With films like Under The Skin, Night Of The Virgin and Double Date hitting cinemas in the past few years, young men really ought to be getting wise to the perils of letting themselves be picked up by unfeasibly glamorous women who may have ulterior motives, but it appears the message has not penetrated as far as Hertfordshire, where young Sebastian (Billy Cook) is excited by the prospect of a date with seductive older woman Vanessa (Eve Myles) but doesn't realise quite how much older she is. In fact, Vanessa belongs to a coven of vampires which is on the lookout for a new member - or, if her contribution disappoints them, for an evening meal. But that night the vampires have problems of their own, as a dedicated vampire-hunting division of special forces is lying in wait, and things are about to get very bloody indeed.

An ambitious film that suffers from a visibly stretched budget, Eat Locals fails to live up to the promise of its wonderful title but does have some great moments, with an impressive cast clearly having fun making their small roles count. Dexter Fletcher hams it up with a hint of Worzel Gummidge as Mr Thatcher, the owner of the farm where the coven meeting is taking place (cue lines like "It's all Thatcher's fault really") and Annette Crosbie is pure gold as the kind of repectable older lady who could strike fear into the heart of a trained soldier with a disapproving look even if she didn't have pointy teeth to back it up.

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There's a sinister sub-plot about a cosmetics company that makes this a nice fit for 2017's Frightfest, alongside Replace, but parts of the plotting seem to have been lost in the process of chopping down the script to make it fit the budget. A lot of nice one-liners remain at the expense of longer stretches of dialogue which might have made the film more coherent. The action jumps about from one character to another and, whilst most of them are entertaining, we don't really get the chance to invest in any of them enough for the film to have an emotional impact.

With the vampires unable to be killed using conventional weapons but still quite able to have bits blown off them (which apparently still hurts), there's a good helping of gore. First time director Jason Flemyng has a deep love for playful genre films and it comes across here, making Eat Locals, for all its flaws, pretty good fun to watch. It's best suited to late night viewing with a crowd of horror fans, and its natural home viewing market will be parties. Hardly fillet steak, but worth a bite.

Reviewed on: 28 Aug 2017
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Eat Locals packshot
In a quiet countryside farmhouse, Britain's vampires gather together for their once-every-50-years meeting. Others will be joining them too: an unwitting Essex boy who thinks he's on a promise with an older woman, and a detachment of Special Forces vampire killers who have bitten off more than they can chew.

Director: Jason Flemyng

Writer: Danny King

Starring: Freema Agyeman, Charlie Cox, Mackenzie Crook, Eve Myles, Vincent Regan

Year: 2016

Runtime: 94 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: UK

Festivals:

Frightfest 2017

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