FEED Swedish cinema poster
3 and a half stars  

directed by: Johannes Persson
starring: Vincent Grahl, Sofia Kappel, Annica Liljeblad, Amanda Lindh, Joel Lützow, Molly Nutley, Michael Odhag, Emelina Rosenstielke, Emma Suki, Nikolina Kostov,

choice dialogue:

“The witch took them all.”

- Which witch is which?

slash with panache?


[review by JA Kerswell]

  Having lots of followers won't keep you safe in FEED.

A big hit in its native Sweden, FEED twists and turns frenetically throughout its 100 minutes to keep you guessing who - or what - is behind its mayhem. A group of young social influencers are hired to help drum up business for a remote eco-resort; only to find themselves trapped on an island where, legend has it, four hundred years previously a witch had drowned herself. There is something murderous in the water and, worse still, something - or someone - sinister on dry land, too. A critique of the vapid culture of influencers, it perhaps asks the question of how far someone would go for likes? The film also tips its hat to 80s American horror movies in some quite surprising and inventive ways.

Elin (Molly Nutley) has reluctantly joined her new boyfriend, fitness influencer Dimman (Vincent Grahl), on a trip in support of his ex-girlfriend Josefin (Sofia Kappel). Josefin is a big social media star, but her followers don’t yet know that she and Dimman have broken up. Dimman assures Elin that they will stage the separation for Josefin’s fans and they can then publically start their relationship. Plus, he tells her, his ex already has a hunky new romantic interest in the wings for later in the weekend in the shape of Jens (Joel Lützow). Also along for the trip are Josefin’s friends (and social media window dressing), a glamorous young lesbian couple Ava (Emelina Rosenstielke) and Kristen (Amanda Lindh).

  There's some nice slasher Easter Eggs in FEED - such as this sign which is very reminiscent of a certain Camp Crystal Lake.

Arriving at their destination, Josefin is assured of a weekend of Glamping by the elderly owners Ulf (Michael Odhag) and his wife Ragnhild (Annica Liljeblad) - who are desperate to get rich holidaymakers from Stockholm to come to their resort to stave off looming bankruptcy. The plan is for Josefin to stage the perfect weekend to sell the experience to her aspirational lifestyle fans. The group are wowed by the luxury camp on an island in the middle of a lake, but Josefin is annoyed that wifi isn’t operating yet so she can’t live broadcast. However, her interest is piqued by a potential social media hook when Ulf tells the group about the legend of a witch who had been banished to the island in the 17th century and made to wear an iron mask with a bell attached - and who supposedly committed suicide by drowning herself in the lake. Josefin thinks this will be perfect for engagement, as there has been a boom in people travelling on holiday to sites where murders have occurred or there is a history of hauntings or the supernatural.

Ulf leaves but warns them to stay out of the water. At first, the weekend goes Insta-perfectly, but the group ignores the warning and cannot resist taking a swim. However, the swimmers are grabbed by something under the water and one of them is badly maimed. When a rescue attempt fails, the group find themselves marooned on the island and come to realise that they are not alone when they hear the sound of jingling …

I won’t spoil the mystery as to who or what haunts the remote island, but given the review is on this site probably tells you that there is a slasher angle at play here. FEED playfully references a number of 80s and 90s horror movies. A prologue showing another young social media influencer being killed in the woods, as she records herself, explicitly calls to mind THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT (1999). The legend of the child-eating witch obviously does, too. However, FEED isn’t exactly a found footage movie - although, as you would probably expect given the nature of the group, a phone camera is never far away. The ever-present Scandinavian lake is a feature, obviously. The makers of FEED neatly reference FRIDAY THE 13TH (1980) with the painted sign of the resort in the same colours as that at Camp Crystal Lake. Perhaps more surprisingly, the film rifts off similar notes to ‘The Raft’ scenes in the anthology CREEPSHOW 2 (1987) and is sometimes reminiscent of SUPERSTITION (1982).

  For whom the bell tolls ...

FEED is unexpectedly creepy at times, with the trees on the island appearing to bleed human blood. The witch - complete in an iron mask - is evocatively silhouetted against a tent side through the moonlight. Some scenes are genuinely unnerving, such as the one where the witch is filmed with night vision on a mobile phone as her indistinct form emerges from the lake. It is surprising in other ways, too. The temptation would be to fall into total pastiche when dealing with a bunch Insta-famous narcissists. However, whilst some of the characters can be at times monstrous they also feel human and each has some depth and shots at potential redemption. And it must be the only slasher film to feature a vegan Final Girl!

If the film has a fault, it rather too obviously tips its hat to the motives at play in its prologue - and you don’t need to be Miss Marple to figure out what’s going on. Having said that, FEED constantly throws the viewer off balance just when you think you’ve got a handle on it. The answers aren’t particularly plausible - but the fun is getting to them.

Given its hardly positive portrayal of internet celebrity, there is a certain irony that the film owes much of its success to the promotion of one of Sweden’s top influencers Joakim Lundell - who produced it. Director Johannes Persson was also involved as a casting director in another recent Swedish slasher THE CONFERENCE (2022). Lundell aptly compared FEED to JAWS (1975). Given the success of FEED, it isn’t a great surprise that - at the time of writing - FEED 2 is in production.


BODYCOUNT  bodycount!   female: 4 / male: 3

1) Female killed (method unseen)
      2) Female killed (method unseen)
      3) Male shot with a shot gun
      4) Female killed with an axe
      5) Male shot with a shot gun
      6) Female shot with a shot gun
      7) Male stabbed through the neck with a carving knife



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