Trying to find interesting restaurants, a food critic and writer finds the perfect thing to write about when he hears about a place that serves human meat. But the idea seems much better in his head than when he's actually there, witnessing the horror behind it.
Cannibalism in film takes on many shapes and forms, and there's no real limit to what the movie can be about. I mean, other than eating human flesh. That's sort of a must if you want it to be cannibalism, eh? The idea of restaurants serving human flesh is not really a new one, and this is what "Omnívoros" offers, but it's also not the most common. In this case, it's very much about how "Omnívoros" keeps the horror on the low, and the thriller / drama is amped up, that keeps it apart.
Staying with the old idea that "once you eat human flesh, you never go back", this one is about a kid who had to eat human flesh to stay alive, and when he grows up he is running a secret restaurant where human flesh is served. Our lead guy, however, is a food critic and writer. He's getting interested in visiting places that serve strange foods, such as a Japanese place that serves the poisonous fugu fish. Through a friend he finds out about this place that serves human meat, and apparently a girl he knows works there. His curiosity gets the best of him, and he decides to give it a shot. When he sees the pain of the people he is about to eat, he realizes that these people are serious and there is no turning back.
Obsession with eating human flesh and restaurants serving it is, as I said, an old idea that we've seen in films and books alike. When it comes to serving human flesh, instead of savagely tear it directly from the person and eat it, I'd say that we're talking about a sort of formal cannibalism. That's exactly what "Omnívoros" is. It's about rich people getting together for a good time to eat human flesh. As wrong as that is, they are not acting like beasts, they're just into eating good food.
When we see the preparation and the capturing of the humans/food, that's when the movie resembles a torture or exploitation flick. There are some great gore early on, and some scenes later in the movie were actually effective as well. It's not an overly graphic or violence movie, but there are plenty of unsettling scenes scattered through-out. From just hanging from the ceiling, to their meat being sliced and diced, it's definitely still offering enough of a punch.
The movie is never truly disturbing though, because it's largely focusing on our lead character finding the place, coming to terms with the events there, and ultimately eating the food. It's a really brief movie, though, because once he reaches the place there's not much more happening in the movie. The finale could've been really intense, but because his visit to the restaurant was rather brief, it just leaves us feeling underwhelmed. I like the ending, actually, but had they spent more time preparing us for it, then it would've also felt more satisfying to get there.
"Omnívoros" is a pretty good thriller that brings up a topic we've all asked ourselves at one point: "what does human flesh taste like?" It has a strong cast, looks good, and manages to bring some actually harsh scenes (the gore in the first scene is surprisingly gnarly). The problem is the pace - it spends a long time on getting our lead to the destination, but then just runs through it. It's underwhelming because we know the ending is good, had it only been given time. It has to feel more justified than it does. I think it's a movie worth checking out though - it's something interesting done with an old idea, and has a few great scenes.