Directed by Caleb Michael Johnson, The Carnivores cooly begins with a blur of American suburbs and pickups ceding to American supermarkets and plastic shrink-wrapped meats. A luscious dream pop crooner purrs in French over these images, while the markedly-unwell Alice (Tallie Medel) wobbles in the aisle as she stares at the produce. The filmmaker's sophomore feature wraps sexual anxiety, gender discomfort and self-loathing impulses around a not-so-subtle mystery. At 77 minutes, it's Johnson's longest film to date.
In The Carnivores, Alice is in evident duress. She keeps track of her sleep and sex life -- a miserable row of Xs show that she ain’t getting any. That’s because her partner, Bret (Lindsay Burdge), is fretting abou