Tackling the vegan debate and staying balanced feels impossible, but that’s exactly what Max Sobol does in horror-comedy Meat is Murder.
The film follows filmmaker Patrick (Adam Fitzgerald), who decides to make a documentary about vegan activist group ‘The Vegilantes”. He joins them as they attend meetups and try to spread their message of living on a plant-based diet.
They’ve even got their own Instagram page, which was a genius marketing strategy and something I really enjoyed when I first discovered the film.
The Vegilantes’ leader Steven (George Potts) has lots of big ideas, none of which go down very well and end up making them look pretty ridiculous. Whilst it is funny to watch, I viewed this portrayal as a stereotypical way of looking at vegans, and in a way it came across as a criticism of how the media might portray them.
After countless failures under Steven, a member of the group named Julie (Tracy Wiles) takes over, and she has a lot more extreme methods in mind. This is when the film really starts to dive into horror territory, and it’s when it starts to shine.
Because they opted for a found footage style for this film, the horror elements are incredibly realistic. One sequence in particular made for an uncomfortable watch, especially since I had the opportunity to see this on the big screen.
The film successfully scared me, reminding me of found footage film Grave Encounters due to the way it was shot. It’s not full of jump scares, but the sudden sense of anxiety as Patrick moved around with his camera was beautifully done.
When watching Meat is Murder, you’ll laugh, you’ll cringe, and you’ll hide behind your hands. This whirlwind of emotion makes for an excellent fifteen minutes of entertainment, and it seems to fly by.
The performances are all outstanding. They’re convincing, and feel like real people instead of actors. You believe what they’re saying, and the way they go about their day as if the camera isn’t even there.
With veganism as popular as it is, there’s never been a more appropriate time for this film to exist. This is a short film I’d recommend to everyone, especially those curious about plant-based lifestyles.
Speaking to London Live, Max Sobol said that he wanted the audience to “see different sides of the debate being argued”, and that’s what I got from it. I hope that you do too.
The big reveal at the end of the film might leave you feeling sick to your stomach, but it’s certainly food for thought…
You can watch Meat is Murder right now, for free, at this link.