When I Consume You

When I Consume You Review: No One Will Want Seconds

The new horror is bogged down with clichés and genre tropes

The lasting horrors of childhood trauma permeate every inch of Perry Blackshear’s When I Consume You.

The relationship between two siblings is at the core of the new horror, now available on Shudder. Daphne (Libby Ewing) and Will (Evan Dumouchel) are adult survivors of a truly terrible childhood. While viewers don’t get the details, we are constantly reassured that it was a horrendous upbringing that both are still struggling to come to terms with.

The scruffy Will seems less well-adjusted than his sister—evidenced by showing up at 3 a.m. to lean on Daphne for support. Meanwhile, Daphne, now five years sober, appears to have her life back on track until Will finds her dead of an apparent suicide, though he is adamant she wouldn’t take her own life. Spiralling, Will experiences a vision of his recently passed sibling who warns him not to seek out her killer—so naturally, he does just the opposite.

All of that unfolds in the film’s first 30 minutes and what follows is a shifting atmosphere of building dread as Daphne directs her brother from beyond the grave.

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When I Consume You’s story relies on past trauma which has become something of a crutch in modern horror. With a noticeably low budget, Blackshear gamely attempts to get creative while the cast relies on creaking corners, dimly it sets, and heavy panicked breathing to show that this really is a horror. Jumping back and forth between two timelines in an attempt to explain the duo’s childhood traumas, and with a reliance on POV and overhead shots, the story fumbles forward.

At times feeling like it is struggling with what it wants to say, the movie’s grainy and grim lo-fi aesthetic does help to heighten the mood, but it offers little else.  Following an intriguing introduction, When I Consume You is bogged down with clichés and genre tropes. Ewing and Dumouchel are limited by the script, which—after a promising start—fails to live up to its own beginnings as it drifts aimlessly through the latter half of its runtime.

Ultimately, When I Consume You offers little that’s new and exciting for genre fans, firmly planting itself as an inoffensive-yet-average tale that will struggle to hold viewers’ attention spans.



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