We live in the land of convenience; where we can eat whatever we want, whenever we want, because our fridges are full and we are a speed dial or a key stroke away from a food delivery, nearly every hour, on every day of the year. Most of us only look around our kitchens out of boredom, or because we ‘think’ we should be eating something, for in this capitalist, world of greed and excess, there really isn’t any reason for anyone to be without full bellies these days. And yet, whole continents of people are dying a slow, agonising death of starvation, and instead of feeding the hungry, the governments of this little spinning marble in the sky, would rather put billions into playing toy soldiers and seeing more people die than solving any real problems.
Slightly hypocritical of me to write this when I am stuffing my face with chocolate digestives, but I never said I wasn’t one of the greed afflicted …
None of us (eating disorders and extreme poverty not withstanding) know what it’s like to be truly hungry. To live with the knowledge that your survival is dependent on something that you cannot access and the levels someone is forced to sink to just to stay alive. Bugs, seeds, plants, rats, an Alive sort of scenario where maybe you’re forced to sample the two legged delicacy that can verbalise the argument for not being your dinner … you never know what kind of person you are until someone beats the survival instinct into you.
Hunger is a psychological horror about a lucky group of five who have won the psycho killer lottery when they end up as the unwitting lab rats of an experiment into the degradation of the human state when they are being starved to death. It’s much like Big Brother, except that they start to physically cannibalise each other instead of just in the psychological sense.
From a shaky start, that I wasn’t sure I was going to stick with, Hunger blossomed into a very intense and gripping watch. Comparisons to Saw and Hostel are completely missing the point, as this much more intelligent horror, than popcorn splatter. There’s nothing likeable about the subject matter, or indeed most of the characters, but it’s interesting to watch the layers of humanity stripped away, when the people in the room with you start to look like a cartoon chicken drumstick.
Clever, yet brutally dismal, it’s well acted, stylishly executed and not too heavy in dialogue, but I have to admit the ending is predictably and disappointing, somewhat tainting the film for me a little. That being said, it’s gory, dark and exploitative of human depravity at its best, so take advantage of the capitalist greed of the West and order some pizza while you give it a watch.