When the once high regarded Danish artist Lars (Thure Lindhardt) arrives into the sleepy town of Koda Lake to fulfil a teaching position at the local art school, he is quickly told about Eddie (Dylan Smith), the mute nephew of the school’s biggest benefactor. But when Eddie’s aunt passes away, Lars is given the rather reluctant job of taking care of him. Now living together, Lars discovers one of Eddies strange quips – he’s partial to a bit of human flesh when he’s a sleep. Instead of stopping the attacks Lars, who’s been struggling creativily for years, finally finds his muse in the mangled corpses of Eddie’s victims.
A film that delivers the sillynes and laughs that its title promises, Eddie – The Sleepwalking Cannibal is a funny, gory and quirky black comedy that satisfyingly, although very lightly, plants it’s feet in horror. The light hearted approach with its humour being key throughout, even as the story goes into darker places and becomes more violent it still manages to deliver quality laughs consistently, never letting the film become overshadowed by its darker tones.
An obsession story at its core, it does a decent job of showing Lars’ quick fall into madness. Painting is his heroin, only feeling truly alive with brush in hand, but when he starts assisting and calculating Eddies nocturnal outings it becomes a guilty consience of extremes. Selling his art is helping the school with its financial difficulties, plus he only chooses bad people for Eddie’s prey, so does that make it ok? Watching Lars trying to weigh up the pro’s and con’s of each has plenty of stand out moments to enjoy.
There is a central love story with fellow teacher Lesley (Georgina Reilly) however, that feels like its inclusion is only there to pad out the film’s short runtime. The two actors are fine in their roles, it’s just a shame that the material they get to work with together on screen isn’t always that great. Although an obvious problem, it doesn’t really play that big of a part in the overall story as it’s much more focused on the friendship that develops between Lars and Eddie, with the chemistry between the two being a definite high point.
A sure cult favourite of the future, Eddie – The Sleepwalking Cannibal is a surprisingly well executed black comedy, finding the perfect balance between the bloody macabre and laugh of loud gags that the plot allows. An absolute treat.