Cannibal Holocaust

Cannibal Holocaust ★★★★★

«Today people want sensationalism. The more you rape their senses, the happier they are.»

Another one of those films that forces me to close my eyes. So much so that the last time I tried to watch it I had to turn it off about an hour in. This October I had promised to give it another shot, wrongly thinking I would be more indifferent to its assault this time around. But Cannibal Holocaust is one of the few horror films that lives up to expectations; it is truly as vile, cruel and shocking as its reputation.

But then this is a film about man’s rape of nature, western civilization’s annihilation of indigenous cultures and our increasing appetite for sensationalism in our entertainment. That heritage is not pleasant, it is a stain on our collective psyche. Therefore, a film that debates these very real horrors cannot be pleasant. It has to offend. Does that mean Cannibal Holocaust is justified in its methods?

Historically, Cannibal Holocaust is most notable for being a trailblazer in the found footage genre. And even to this day, its hyper-realistic approach makes an impression. The film is never a comfortable watch. Those animal killings are really hard to sit through. Every time they cut back to New York I'm relieved. Unsurprisingly, this was one I did NOT watch with my girlfriend.

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