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8. Ravenous (1999)

RavenousAntonia Bird’s macabre black comedy originally had a different director with Milcho Manchevski who was fired at the last minute with Bird being brought on at the suggestion of Robert Carlyle. As a result the film has a little bit of a confused tone but is entertaining and clever in a way that not many horror films were at the time.

At the time it was all about pretty television stars getting slaughtered in an ironic fashion so of course Ravenous with its historic setting flopped mightily. Armed with one of the all-time great scores by Damon Albarn and Michael Nyman, Ravenous has Guy Pearce’s scarred civil war veteran banished to the middle of nowhere in a tedious fort where he is suddenly menaced by Robert Carlyle’s Calhoun who has turned to cannibalism after hearing the Wendigo myth.

Ravenous is based on the Donner Party disappearance but has such style, such a great script and such great performances that it becomes more than just theorising on a historic mystery. The last ten minutes is brutal and thrilling in a way that few films manage and the film has justly got its audience on DVD and through television screenings.

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