Starring Thure Lindhardt, Dylan Smith. Written and directed by Boris Rodriguez. STC. 90 min. Opens Sept. 28 at the Royal.
A tall, sweet-tempered, child-like mute with some unfortunate nocturnal habits, Eddie does indeed eat people in this occasionally grisly but mostly mild-mannered horror comedy by Montreal’s Boris Rodriguez. But Eddie’s not the real monster here. It’s his pal and roommate, Lars (Thure Lindhardt), a Danish painter whose long-blocked creative juices flow freely after he sees the results of Eddie’s nightly rampages in the snowy Canadian town where Lars has come to teach. After all, poor Eddie knows not what he does—the same cannot be said of Lars, an amoral aesthete who exploits the pain of others in the name of his art.
This idea gives considerable bite to Rodriguez’s debut feature, even if his movie is too restrained to live up to its potential. Horror fans lured in by the title may be especially disappointed to discover that the film is more of a low-key satire than a campy gore-fest. And while Lindhardt—a Danish actor familiar from roles in Flame & Citron and Angels & Demons—plays Lars with admirable subtlety, it’s hard not to feel like a broader approach would’ve given the material the charge it needs. The same is true of Dylan Smith’s turn as Eddie, a figure whose mixture of wide-eyed innocence and sharp-toothed menace is reminiscent of Billy Connolly’s amiable zombie in Fido, a film to which Rodriguez’s owes a great deal yet only intermittently matches in its savvy.
Still, the movie earns full marks for a running gag in which a classical radio DJ can be heard fawningly describing the lurid murders and suicides that fill so many operas. It’s a clever means of reminding us that Lars is hardly the first artist to be driven by a certain unhealthy bloodlust.