Written by Scotty
Deciding when it is appropriate to fight and when to run away is something that most of us have developed in our youth. The Fight and Flight reflex is sometimes taught but most of the time when it comes into play, it is just plain old instinct. Knowing if you can win, versus if you know that you will lose if you put up the fight could be an extra sense that is not part of the five we all know and love.
Captain John Boyd receives a promotion for taking over an enemy fort on his own during the Mexican-American war. With all of his men dead or dying, Boyd was able to strong arm his way to command of the fort with little of the enemy’s blood being spilled. Upon receiving his promotion however, it is discovered that Boyd had played possum under his fallen men and everything that happened was based on his own means of survival.
Being sent out west to Fort Spencer, Boyd would be third in command in the beat down confines and only needs to be present. Only catering to people traveling west for the gold rush, there is not much need for the fort as he finds out and it is a cushy yet pointless assignment. Reporting to Colonel Hart, Boyd does not believe that he will be used to his potential, but falls back into the cowardice mold that he has been accused of and goes along with the punches that are thrown his way.
As spring arrives at the fort, so does a distant traveler that has a story to tell about his attempted trip out west. Telling the soldiers at the fort that his traveling party has partaken in eating human flesh to survive that harsh winter and it was initiated by their leader Colonel Ives, the soldiers at Fort Spencer have to leave their post to investigate. Finding the cave where the crazed traveler said the horrific actions went down, the soldiers noticed that there were bodies stripped of flesh and that their new friend seems to be something more than a wary traveler who merely fed to survive, but a cannibal with a genuine love of human flesh.
Ravenous follows the story of a few soldiers that are stationed at Fort Spencer in California. As they have their main task of keeping any travelers safe from the elements, they are given a new assignment as a wary traveler appears at their doors with stories of murder and cannibalism. Not believing that a military man would lose his mind and resort to such actions, the soldiers at the fort take to the road to validate what they have been told. When locating the cave where the murders happened, the soldiers find out that the man they followed is the murderer they are looking for. With all of the soldiers except one killed by the ravenous man, Boyd has to tell the story to his hierarchy to get the fort reinforced. To his surprise however, his new Colonel is the same man from his past that has killed in front of his very eyes.
A little bit of a thinker, a little bit of a thriller, and a whole lot of a human eater. With the story not being primarily of people eating people, but the beliefs of what benefits and healing powers could come of it, this movie left me a little bit scared. With Boyd trying to protect himself from the effects of eating human flesh, to being forced to eat it for his own survival is a great way to see all of the surviving characters grow and at the same time...fall. Along with the Native American legend of the Wendigo being called into play with the returning hunger that cannot be satisfied, you may have second thoughts about wanting to try even a little piece of human, even to survive. Stay Scared.