Cannibal Farm: How Many Tropes Can You Fit in One Film?

Available for streaming on iTunes Movies, I had pretty low expectations when I rented Cannibal Farm. Both the film’s title and its cover art suggested this would be a derivative re-hash of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Written and directed by Charlie Steeds, Cannibal Farm amazes by somehow being even worse than expected. This isn’t just a bad film. It’s a ludicrously bad film. Each subsequent scene dares the audience to keep watching to see how much worse it can get.

Synopsis

Looking to get away from the city for the weekend, the dysfunctional Carver family heads into the countryside for a camping trip. But things go awry quickly and the Carvers find themselves lost in the wilderness. When they decide to camp over night, strange sounds and a vehicle breakdown force the family to seek help at a dilapidated farmhouse. Unfortunately, they’re welcomed by a cannibalistic family with a dark history.

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Cannibal Farm, More Like Trope Farm

It’s actually impressive how many worn-out horror film tropes Steeds crams just into the first ten minutes alone. In a short family trailer ride Steeds provides a convoluted rationale for the absence of cellphones, gets his family lost, introduces the “creepy old stranger at the side of the road” who offers the standard warning, and ensures that you will thoroughly dislike every character. And Steeds doesn’tjust shamelessly rip off The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Astute horror fans will recognize bits lifted from The Hills Have Eyes, Frontier(s), and The Descent. In fact the only thing original about Cannibal Farm is how Steeds stitches these good movies into inexplicably bad one.

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You May Want to Eat Yourself Rather Than Finish Watching

“I found myself wondering if I had blacked out periodically while watching as a defence mechanism.”

There are so many things wrong with Cannibal Farm. for the sake of brevity, I’ll focus on of the highlights. While the acting is terrible, an Oscar-caliber cast couldn’t do much with the stilted dialogue they’re forced to recite. At one point a character offers expository dialogue over a flashback that is so lazy that I found myself laughing out loud. One night time scene somehow instantly turns to broad daylight. Some of the death scenes are directly lifted from better films, though with poor special effects. An electric fence causes one victim’s hand to explode in a hilariously inept scene. To pad out the film’s runtime Cannibal Farm includes pointless and random flashbacks. Characters randomly pop up in the film. At one point, I found myself wondering if I had blacked out periodically while watching as a defence mechanism.

The Scariest Part of the Film – Its Runtime

The most (and only) frightening part of Cannibal Farm – it goes on for an hour and 40 minutes. The final third of the film descends into the kind of lunacy that only really bad films can achieve. After finishing it, I double-checked to make sure I hadn’t accidentally rented a comedy; sadly, the humour was unintentional.

THE PROFESSOR’S FINAL GRADE: F

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I am a Criminology professor in Canada but I've always had a passion for horror films. Over the years I've slowly begun incorporating my interest in the horror genre into my research. After years of saying I wanted to write more about horror I have finally decided to create my own blog where I can share some of my passion and insights into the films I love.

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