No matter you craved from the content material gods in 2022, one factor that most likely wasn’t in your most popular menu: A number of tales that centered on, explored, and even celebrated cannibalism. Sure, films and TV reveals about individuals consuming individuals.
This sudden cultural preoccupation with the style of human flesh might doubtlessly be thought of our pure subsequent course after the overly-trodden style booms of vampire and zombie tales from the final 20-something years. However nonetheless, the abundance of cannibalistic choices this yr would trigger anybody’s forehead to wrinkle (and abdomen to churn).
The unusual glut of shopper content material was portended, because it have been, by none aside from actor Armie Hammer, whose alleged cannibal-leaning textual content messages have been aired publicly again in 2021, solely to resurface in September through Discovery+’s considerably sensationalistic docuseries “Home of Hammer.” (Discovery+, like CNN, is a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery.)
However that’s removed from all. Hammer’s “Name Me By Your Identify” director Luca Guadagnino once more labored with the star of that movie Timothée Chalamet this yr on a weird love story about cannibals on the margins of society referred to as “Bones and All,” which got here out final month. The film, costarring Taylor Russell, Michael Stuhlbarg (additionally from “Name Me”) and Oscar winner Mark Rylance, earned principally favorable critiques, with CNN’s Brian Lowry calling it “an odd and intriguing however finally unsatisfying stew.”
It may be laborious to consider, however that movie was simply one among two cannibalistic quasi-romances this yr, with Hulu’s “Recent” being the primary in March. A blacker-than-black satire on the evils and pratfalls of recent relationship, “Recent” options Sebastian Stan as a way-too-good-to-be-true plastic surgeon who pursues younger girls to finally lure them in his distant mansion and take items of them for an elite underground neighborhood of flesh eaters who pay high greenback for the, er, freshest cuts. The film deftly teeters between hard-to-watch and tongue-in-cheek, finally offering an ending that provides new that means to the time period “simply desserts.”
After which there was Netflix’s “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” which was the streaming big’s most-watched new present in its first week on the time in September. This Ryan Murphy collection had many viewers unable to complete watching even the primary episode. If that weren’t sufficient on the infamous cannibalistic serial killer, October noticed the premiere of a 3rd installment of the “Conversations With a Killer” collection, additionally on Netflix, this one specializing in Dahmer.
On high of those have been a number of very attention-getting “cannibal-adjacent” titles, like Showtime’s “Yellowjackets,” which got here out late final yr however obtained extra legs this yr. The collection is an atmospheric new tackle the “Misplaced” trope, this one following a bunch of girls who survived a harrowing expertise following a aircraft crash that left them stranded within the wilderness for over a yr once they have been teenagers. And whereas there isn’t a specific cannibalism within the present as of but, “Yellowjackets” form of dangles the concept however appears to be saving the true meat of it (sorry) for subsequent yr’s Season 2.
Lastly, there was final month’s “The Menu,” which additionally doesn’t characteristic people-eating, however positively teased the concept of it in its advertising and marketing marketing campaign.
This positively isn’t the primary time cannibals have captured the zeitgeist. In spite of everything, Anthony Hopkins received his first greatest actor Oscar for less than 16 minutes of screentime because the murderous flesh eater Hannibal Lecter in 1991’s “The Silence of the Lambs.” The San Diego Museum Of Man’s unusual and mystifying “Cannibals: Fantasy & Actuality” exhibit explains that cannibalism is definitely not as overseas as one would possibly suppose, spanning cultures and historical past, from European royalty to American colonists, in addition to unfortunate sailors and accident survivors. (Bear in mind 1993’s “Alive” with Ethan Hawke, primarily based on the true story of a Uruguayan rugby group who needed to eat the useless to outlive after crashing within the Andes?)
The exhibit even shines a lightweight on how the human physique was used as medication among the many British aristocracy within the seventeenth and 18th centuries.
Cannibalism, it could possibly be mentioned, is as a lot as a part of our historical past as it’s the unusual current we name 2022.
At any fee, one would hope that this unsettling fascination with cannibals has come to an finish, together with this yr. In truth, as a colleague famous in an e mail, “Feeling like you need to come out towards cannibalism is absolutely 2022 in a nutshell.”