There has been a recent trend in Hollywood pumping out a multitude of movies and TV shows centered on the theme of cannibalism. Currently playing in theaters is Bones and All, a cannibalistic romance starring Timothée Chalamet, and Netflix’s new hit Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, which broke streaming records, has garnered widespread attention. Breakout horror films such as The Menu, Fresh, and Raw all revolve around cannibalism, and Showtime’s survivalist thriller series Yellowjackets has been renewed for a third season. This proliferation of sensationalized cannibalistic media prompts the question of whether viewers should be concerned. Is this trend a coincidence, or does it serve as a warning of hard times ahead for the U.S. food supply?
NBC News reports that food prices in the United States are reaching 40-year highs, with the food price index increasing by more than 10% in May relative to the previous year. While many Americans are not facing complete starvation or famine, hyperinflation of basic living necessities and an economic crisis can serve as a slippery slope leading to such nightmares becoming a reality. For example, Venezuela, once the wealthiest country in South America, is now experiencing a humanitarian crisis under Maduro’s leadership that has driven desperate individuals to resort to eating street animals and even humans. In 2017, a Venezuelan man killed a teenager and sold his body parts as “salted rodent meat.”
Some speculate that the rise in on-screen cannibalism may be a form of predictive programming or the belief that those in power are using fictional movies/shows as a means of brainwashing the general population to be more accepting of planned future events. If people are constantly exposed to scenes of people consuming human flesh in movies, for instance, they may be less shocked if they witness similar behavior in real life.
Can art serve as a warning of what may happen in reality? Many are concerned about the ongoing inflation in the U.S., and food is just one of many aspects of daily life that it has impacted. If food prices continue to rise, the U.S. may find itself following in the footsteps of other formerly prosperous countries that have experienced dire consequences. As such, is Hollywood’s sudden focus on cannibalism simply a harmless accident, or is it an intentional effort to prepare Americans for a potential food crisis in the future?