Review by Sean Boelman
A brutally funny Belgian horror comedy, Lars Damoiseaux’s Yummy is a very hyper genre flick, but that energy translates into a viewing experience that is mostly very fulfilling. And while the film can be a bit too heavy-handed at times, Damoiseaux’s style goes a long way in making this a genre flick not to miss.
The movie follows a group of people that are stuck in a hospital for plastic surgery as they discover an outbreak of a virus that will turn its host into a bloodthirsty zombie. The film hardly alters the tropes of this particular type of horror flick, much less reinvent them, but it manages to feel rather inspired nevertheless.
One of the biggest issues with the movie is that there are simply too many characters in the story. Although the frequent perspective shifts admittedly do a very good job of keeping the viewer on their toes, they become exhausting after a while, causing the film to run out of tricks sooner than Damoiseaux would like.
Because of this, the movie also lacks substantial arcs. The main storyline, involving a young couple who is hoping to soon be engaged, is moderately compelling but extremely simple. Other characters, like a selfish junkie, an arrogant doctor, and his assistant that knows more than she lets on, all stick to their designated archetypes.
Still, at just over an hour and a half in length, the film is pretty action-packed, and as such, it’s hard to get bored by what’s happening. Horror fans will undoubtedly pick up on the numerous dead ends in the storyline that exist for little reason other than to kill off another character and push along the narrative a little bit further.
Of course, as is the case with most zombie movies from the beginning of the genre, this movie is a parable about the dangers of playing god. Damoiseaux’s fresh perspective on the matter is certainly welcome, but everything that the film has to say is painfully obvious. The phrase “interfering with God’s creation” is uttered multiple times by many characters.
Visually, the movie is very energetic, with a bunch of gore. Arguably the strongest aspect of the film is its production design, Damoiseaux using the mostly confined setting of the hospital to his advantage. There are also some memorable sight gags which are the points of the movie that most effectively dial in to its comedic potential.
Yummy doesn’t quite break down the genre as its filmmakers seem to hope, but it’s still an entertaining zombie flick. This is something that the midnight movie crowd will definitely be talking about, and it deserves the buzz.
Yummy streams on Shudder beginning June 25.