On Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal, Or How the Art World Is Fuled by Kill-or-be-killed Bloodlust


Carnage breeds creativity for Lars (Keep the Lights On‘s Thure Lindhardt), a former up-and-coming painter who finds himself back at the easel after relocating to teach at a remote, snowbound art school where he befriends a mute flesh-eater in Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal. Eddie’s (Dylan Scott Smith) nocturnal dining on animals and humans is the spark that reignites Lars’s moribund career. Writer-director Boris Rodriguez’s satire about artistic inspiration posits Eddie’s carnivorous behavior as a catalyst for awakening the deep, dark urges lurking inside Lars, whose arrival in town is marked by his running over a deer and then (to end its misery, or so he says) bludgeoning it to death with a rock. Lars’s new works earn money for the down-on-its-luck school, but the duo’s twisted relationship—Lars cares for Eddie, while also bringing him to victims and covering up his crimes—is soon complicated by Lars’s romance with a fellow teacher (Georgina Reilly) and the suspicions of a local cop (Paul Braunstein). While secret handshakes are amusingly depicted as the key to building trust and friendship, it’s Stephen McHattie’s greedy agent—and a final note in which Eddie becomes muse to another—that truly hammers home the film’s depiction of the art world as fueled by rapacious, kill-or-be-killed bloodlust.