Divided into four thematic sections, What’s Eating You? explores the deeper significance of food on screen—the ways in which they reflect (or challenge) our deepest fears about consuming and being consumed. Among the questions it asks are: How do these films mock our taboos and unsettle our notions about the human condition? How do they critique our increasing focus on consumption? In what ways do they hold a mirror to our taken-for-granteds about food and humanity, asking if what we eat truly matters?
Horror narratives routinely grasp those questions and spin them into nightmares. Monstrous “others” dine on forbidden fare; the tables of consumption are turned, and the consumer becomes the consumed. Overindulgence, as Le Grande Bouffe (1973) and Street Trash (1987) warn, can kill us, and occasionally, as films like The Stuff (1985) and Poultrygeist (2006) illustrate, our food fights back. From Blood Feast (1963) to Sweeney Todd (2007), motion pictures have reminded us that it is an “eat or be eaten” world.