When successful Danish painter Lars (Thure Lindhardt) moves to a small town in Canada to teach art at the local school he soon meets Eddie (Dylan Smith), a troubled mute man who he agrees to take care of. Thinking he’s completely harmless, Lars discovers on the first night a dark secret about Eddie – he eats people while sleepwalking:
A Danish-Canadian black comedy with its tongue firmly lodged in its cheek, Eddie – The Sleepwalking Cannibal is an overall fun blend of dark humour and horror, even if it may not always fit together perfectly, shifting gears rather flippantly at times but nevertheless providing a unique experience that’s pleasingly hard to pin down.
It is, of course, completely ridiculous as the title immediately suggests and sometimes writer/director Boris Rodriguez lets the mix of tones run a little too wild, losing sight of its premise in favour of going down the dramatic road. The emotional aspect doesn’t work quite as well as it should, feeling rather forced and contrived when in stark contrast with the outrageous premise and over-the-top cannibalistic scenes which play almost like Dawn of the Dead meets Fargo.
Some welcome heart is, however, injected because of the relationship between Lars and Eddie, helped largely by the performances of Linhardt and Smith. But it’s at its best when exploring the outlandish central idea, whether it be Lars using Eddie as a sort of “weapon” to get his own back on mean people or Eddie simply running wild.
There’s a weird mashup going on involving an exploration of what it means to be an artist and what it takes to create great art, and the kind of genre pleasures it obviously promises with that title and premise. It’s an odd film that might not totally work but it for what it is it’s a fun bit of something different that’s at least worth a look if not essential viewing.