It has been some time since I have seen a horror film as thoroughly dedicated to trying to make you throw up as "Feed." One clear clue as to this intent is the number of times somebody in the movie throws up or at least starts gagging and covering their mouths while their eyes bug out (the film's tagline is "Can you stomach it?"). I think it is inevitable that you will be reminded of the death of the glutton in the opening act of "Se7en," only "Feed" wants to wallow in the entire idea of death by eating and to link it with sexual fetishism and web cams. There is a world of Feeders (men who admire fat women) and Gainers (the fat women they admire), and apparently we can watch it on our home computers for a nominal membership fee.
Philip Jackson (Patrick Thompson) is an Australian detective who works for an Interpol cybercrime unit Down Under and who stumbles upon a website where voyeurs watch a 600-pound woman named Deirdre (Gabby Millgate) being fed. Jackson is repulsed by what he sees, but more importantly he is suspicious, especially when the Webmaster starts blocking his moves on the Internet and the website involves making bets for some macabre reason that is not immediately clear to him. Jackson knows that starving somebody is a crime, and even though his boss points out that hardly means the converse is true, the detective is perfectly willing to be judge and jury on this one. So Jackson heads for Toledo, Ohio, to track down Michael Carter (Alex O'Loughlin) in his lair so that they can go toe-to-toe in their battle of wills and deep seated psychoses, never realizing that he is being led into a trap.
Millgate's face and fingers are not built up to match the giant nearly naked fat suit she is forced to act beneath, but you get over the grotesque appearance of her character as you try to understand why she is letting this be done to her. Then again, the line separating Carter from Jackson does not appear to constitute a great distance on the sanity scale. This is one of those movies where the hero is running around like a lunatic, and the villain is the calm voice of reason, at least until you remember Deirdre suspended on her floating bed under the watchful eye of Carter's web cam. It takes a while for this movie to get all three of the principles in the same room at the same time, but that is when the fun begins.
In the end I did not even have to round up to get to a 4 star rating because "Feed" works out its end game in terms of its own logic (no it did not make me throw up, but it is going to claim its fair share of victims unless their finger can out race their gag reflex when it comes to finding the stop button their remote). Jackson has tracked Carter to his sick little world and been invited in, and the resolution clearly stays within those parameters. The resolution might be sick and it might be totally twisted, but it is ring true given what has happened. You can always get somebody in a movie, but the question is whether you can get them really good, with all that entrails in the darker regions of your mind where the impulse towards the sort of justice Dante envisioned being parceled out in Hell, and I think "Feed" pulls it off on that score. However, it was a close call as the alternative ending, which tacks on a totally unnecessary scene, amply indicates. That would have been a twist too many provided by director Brett Leonard ("The Lawnmower Man") and writer Kieran Galvin ("Bad Ass Mono-Winged Angel").