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Fantasia 2021 Review: ‘When I Consume You’ Will Eat You Alive

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When I Consume You

When I Consume You — the third feature from writer/director Perry Blackshear, after They Look Like People and The Siren — follows adult siblings Wilson (Evan Dumouchel) and Daphne (Libby Ewing) as they seek revenge against a mysterious yellow-eyed stalker that hunts them in the night. Filmed in 2019 but released in 2021 (as part of Fantasia Fest), the film resonates with feelings of isolation and anxiety that are all too familiar in our post-pandemic world. 

Wilson — like many of us — is poorly equipped for adult life. He lives in a perpetual state of regression, with anxiety attacks and a lack of confidence and skills that hold him back from developing into the kind of person he wishes to be. His sister Daphne is high-functioning, despite a deep vein of pain that is consistently alluded to but never directly addressed. 

We know that their family life was challenging, and that Daphne was always the stronger of the two despite being the younger sibling, but the actual traumatic events are — cleverly — not directly specified. Whatever toxic environment they experienced, the after effects have been carried through their whole lives, but the ambiguity allows the audience to relate by reconciling their experiences with our own. We identify with the characters by connecting to the emotional resonance, rather than making it about one specific thing. 

The overall effect of this is powerful. Thanks to spectacular performances from Dumouchel and Ewing, we get a true, full sense of Wilson and Daphne while knowing very little about them. The significance is on their relationship, and the ways that they support and challenge each other. Dumouchel and Ewing were friends before filming, and shared accommodations during the production, so their connection is authentic and radiates with a genuine care for one another.

There’s a lot swirling around in When I Consume You. Addiction, isolation, fighting trauma (quite literally), and — in a sense — growing up, all glossed with a supernatural finish. The cinematography (also by Blackshear) is intensely personal, but the cold, rough urban setting keeps the audience at an arm’s length. 

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At its heart, When I Consume You is about fighting your demons. It’s about facing fears and growing to accept them. Blackshear’s work masterfully explores perception and reality, blurring the lines between the two and testing the directions he wants to take them. It makes for a compelling and emotionally potent story that burns slowly and builds to a flashy finish. And there’s even a training montage!

When I Consume You is perhaps the darkest of Blackshear’s films, but it’s also his most hopeful. It acknowledges those who are high-functioning while fighting an unseen battle. It’s relatable to those who feel like they just can’t get a hold on their lives. It shows both sides of an adult with childhood trauma, and connects with the need to finally take control.

Blackshear consistently works with Dumouchel and MacLeod Andrews (who plays David Castille), and the three (along with Ewing) all serve as producers on the film. It’s a wonderful working team, and their efforts certainly pay off. When I Consume You is a powerful family drama rooted in fear and isolation. It’s a raw, emotional reminder of the battles we face, and — most importantly — why we fight them. It will feast on your anxieties and serve you acceptance. And then, it will eat you alive.

Stay tuned for my interview with Perry Blackshear, and for more from Fantasia 2021, check out our review of What Josiah Saw.

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Edgar Allen Poe’s ‘Raven’s Hallow’ Trailer Sees the Young Writer Solving Crimes of the Occult

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Hallow

Edgar Allen Poe’s upcoming Raven’s Hallow is a Shudder exclusive that is based on the young writer’s tales from when he was still stationed at West Point. So, we will see one of his stories that were inspired during his time as a cadet.

The synopsis for Raven’s Hallow according to Deadline goes like this:

Set in the autumn of 1830, Poe and four other cadets are on a training exercise in upstate New York when they come across a man eviscerated on a bizarre wooden rack. His dying words direct them to a remote rural community, holding sinister secrets. Determined to get to the bottom of the murder, Poe embarks on a quest that will bring him face to face with a terror that will haunt him forever.

Raven’s Hallow stars William Mosely as young Poe with William Moseley stars as Poe with Melanie Zanetti, Kate Dickie, David Hayman, Oberon K. A. Adjepong, and Callum Woodhouse.

Raven’s Hallow arrives on Shudder beginning September 22.

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Head over HERE to watch the full trailer.

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‘The Ring’ Comes to Blu-Ray Steelbook Complete With VHS Slipcase Design

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Ring

Japan’s entry into J-Horror with Ringu was one of the best that there has ever been. When America decided to do a remake, I can still recall a lot of people being upset that it wouldn’t measure up. However, Gore Verbenski’s dark portrait was nearly a better film than the original. From its ominous start to shocking finish The Ring was effective around every corner. 20 years later folks can still appreciate Verbenski’s film and in order to celebrate the film turning 20 we are getting a cool steelbook blu-ray for the film.

The steelbook comes with an awesome VHS design slipcase. Inside the steelbook is made of static and the iconic scene with Samara and the well.

The synopsis for The Ring goes like this:

It sounds like just another urban legend — a videotape filled with nightmarish images leads to a phone call foretelling the viewer’s death in exactly seven days. Newspaper reporter Rachel Keller (Naomi Watts) is skeptical of the story until four teenagers all die mysteriously exactly one week after watching just such a tape. Allowing her investigative curiosity to get the better of her, Rachel tracks down the video and watches it. Now she has just seven days to unravel the mystery.

Verbinki’s film is genuinely scary and it entirely deserves a 20th anniversary release. It is a film that has managed to stay in the conversation when horror films are being discussed. It still manages to get heavy play during the Halloween season on AMC. Rightfully so.

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You can pick up your copy of The Ring’s special edition beginning October 18.

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The Sanderson Sisters Are Running Amok in New ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ Photos

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Pocus

The new D23 magazine featured a very welcome sight this time around. The wickedly awesome Sanderson Sisters are showing off a bit on their lead-up to the upcoming Disney+ Hocus Pocus 2 release. In each of the photos, the ladies are running amok as per usual. The lead-up to this sequel has been a long road. So, fans have been savoring the little teases made up of a teaser trailer, a couple of posters, and of course pictures. Fans are most excited that Hocus Pocus 2 sees the return of all three Sanderson sisters as well actor Doug Jones.

The synopsis for Hocus Pocus 2 goes like this:

It’s been 29 years since someone lit the Black Flame Candle and resurrected the 17th-century sisters, and they are looking for revenge. Now it is up to three high-school students to stop the ravenous witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on Salem before dawn on All Hallow’s Eve.

Pocus

The Hocus Pocus sequel stars Doug Jones (“The Shape of Water”), Whitney Peak (“Gossip Girl”), Lilia Buckingham (“Dirt”), Belisa Escobedo (“American Horror Stories”), Hannah Waddingham (“Ted Lasso”), Tony Hale (“Veep”), Sam Richardson (“The Tomorrow War,” “Good Boys”), Juju Brener (“Vanquish”), Froy Gutierrez (“Teen Wolf”), Taylor Paige Henderson and Nina Kitchen.

The Sanderson Sisters will officially run amok a second time when Hocus Pocus 2 lands its broom on Disney+ beginning September 30.

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