Magazine article Variety

Eddie

Magazine article Variety

Eddie

Article excerpt

FILM

Eddie

Canada-Denmark

A musingly casting a somnambulant, flesh-eating weirdo as a struggling artist's muchneeded muse, Canadian-Danish genre mashup "Eddie" contemporarily tackles the rarely overlapping areas of parasomnia, cannibalism and creative block. This bizarro but largely effective debut by scribe-helmer Boris Rodriguez features a well-calibrated perf by Dane Thure Lindhardt ("Keep the Lights On") as a once-visionary painter who, while teaching at a Canadian art school, discovers that the vision of freshly mauled flesh sets his creative juices flowing again. Premise and sharp execution will assure a cult following for this English-language item, but the lack of subtext or emotional resonance will hamper wider crossover.

The opening scene sets the tone, as formerly renowned avant-garde artist Lars (Lindhardt) hits a stag with his car while on the way to his new job at a school in the middle of the Canuck wild. It's badly hurt but still breathing, and Lars tries to relieve the beast of its suffering by hitting it with a large stone. Repeatedly. Eventually, the police turn up and ask him what he thinks he's doing.

The first sequence establishes the intimate link between the painter and death that will provide the motor for the story, after Lars takes it upon himself to look after student Eddie (Dylan Smith). A talentless, hulking mute who's related to one of the school's major donors, Eddie is practically thrust into Lars' lap when his caretaker dies (the rookie teacher's reasons for taking Eddie in are not entirely clear, though it's possible he's trying to impress a cute colleague). When Lars discovers one night that his charge is a sleepwalking cannibal, the sighting has an odd side effect: The artist's inspiration comes flowing back to him like never before.

Rodriguez subsequently exploits the opposing forces tugging at Lars to good effect, as the need for his newly found creative fulfillment is like a drug: He pushes Eddie out of the house every night, then feverishly works to cover his ward's blood-soaked, limb-strewn path. Eddie, meanwhile, can never remember anything come morning.

In its juxtaposition of humor and horror, the pic is more reminiscent of the Coen brothers' seriocomic deadpan than the out-and-out comedic gore of early Peter Jackson. …

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