EditorialsThe Dark Allure of Cannibalism in TV and Film

The Dark Allure of Cannibalism in TV and Film

Written by Serena Baker & Likewise Pix | May 30, 2024

Cannibalism TV & Movies
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The macabre theme of cannibalism has long fascinated audiences in both television and film, often evoking a combination of horror, repulsion, and morbid curiosity. The visceral nature of the subject matter lends itself to powerful storytelling, compelling characters, and unforgettable cinematic experiences. From animated series to chilling dramas, here is an exploration of some of the most notable depictions of cannibalism in the entertainment world.

1. Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan
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Release Date: April 7, 2013 | Average Rating: 4.3

In the dark and dystopian world of Attack on Titan, a significant portion of humanity has been driven to near extinction by giant humanoid creatures known as Titans. These beings are devoid of intelligence and devour humans for pleasure rather than sustenance, making them a terrifying menace. The story follows Eren and his foster sister Mikasa, who witness the devastating destruction of their city walls by a colossal Titan. Their mother is brutally eaten, prompting Eren to vow vengeance against all Titans. This anime series offers a grim yet gripping narrative, exploring themes of survival, revenge, and the resilience of the human spirit.

2. Bones and All

Bones and All
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Release Date: November 18, 2022 | Average Rating: 3.6

Bones and All tells the story of a young woman abandoned by her father, embarking on a thousand-mile journey through the backroads of America. Along the way, she meets a disenfranchised drifter, and together they confront their chilling pasts. The narrative builds towards a climactic conclusion that questions whether their love can transcend their cannibalistic nature. This film combines elements of horror, romance, and tragedy to deliver an emotional and unsettling tale.

3. Hannibal

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Release Date: February 8, 2001 | Average Rating: 3.2

The iconic character Hannibal Lecter returns in Hannibal, living under the radar in Italy as an art scholar. Despite his best efforts to stay hidden, Hannibal is discovered, leading to a series of gruesome murders. He heads back to America, reuniting with a disgraced Agent Clarice Starling, who finds herself caught between her professional duty and the personal connection she shares with Hannibal. The film delves deeply into the psyche of its characters, blending psychological horror with moments of poignant drama.

4. Fresh

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Release Date: March 3, 2022 | Average Rating: 3.1

In Fresh, the world of modern dating takes a sinister turn when the main character Noa, tired of fruitless relationships, gives her number to the charming Steve. What begins as a seemingly innocent and romantic encounter soon descends into horror, uncovering Steve's dark secret. This film highlights the dangers of blind trust and explores themes of manipulation and survival, all set against the backdrop of a terrifying twist on the dating game.

5. The Neon Demon

The Neon Demon
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Release Date: May 31, 2016 | Average Rating: 2.9

The Neon Demon plunges viewers into the cutthroat world of fashion, where aspiring model Jesse moves to Los Angeles only to find herself consumed by beauty-obsessed individuals. As she quickly rises to fame, others become envious of her youth and vitality, leading to a violent and grotesque battle for supremacy. This film critiques the superficiality and ruthlessness of the beauty industry, using cannibalism as a metaphor for the destructive nature of envy and obsession.

6. Cannibal Holocaust

Cannibal Holocaust
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Release Date: February 7, 1980 | Average Rating: 2.9

One of the most controversial films ever made, Cannibal Holocaust follows a New York University professor who ventures into the Amazon rainforest to retrieve the footage of a lost documentary team. The team was intent on capturing the lives of local cannibal tribes, but what the professor finds is a harrowing testament to human cruelty and the thin veneer of civilization. The graphic content and realistic portrayal of violence have made this film a subject of intense debate and censorship, standing as a stark reminder of the shocking extremes of human behavior.

These six films and TV series offer a glimpse into the dark and often disturbing world of cannibalism as depicted in the media. Each brings its own unique perspective, weaving tales of horror, survival, and human complexity. As society continues to grapple with its darkest impulses, these stories serve as a reminder of the thin line between civilization and savagery, urging us to look deeper into the human condition.