Mukbang (2022)

One of the big sensations of the youtube age are Mukbangs: where people or a person sits on in front of a camera to eat food for the audience. Sometimes they’re usually discussing an issue or completing a challenge, but most times the attraction is watching someone eating food. “Mukbang,” from ACM Official, is a great twist on this formula that takes this trend and turns it in to a bonafide tale of horror.

Carly is an aspiring Youtuber desperate to become a phenomenon who decides to commit to a mukbang challenge. After eating five pounds of spicy Ramen noodles on screen for her viewers, her fame is instant. But she receives a mysterious text from someone who accuses her of faking the mukbang. Threatening to out her to her fans, they make her go on a live stream to eat the food for her audience. Pushed in to a corner, she begrudgingly accepts the challenge.

Director Alex Magaňa’s “Mukbang”* is a great commentary on the instant celebrity and the lengths some people are willing to go through to be famous. Carly’s fame is not original or unique, but she’s still willing to do whatever she possibly can to hold on to it. The text messages become ever more menacing, the more resists this challenge. The short is plainly horror, but its tone is insanely darkly comedic in tone.

And I have to admit I loved every minute of it. Everything from director Alex Magaňa is just top notch from top to bottom. The set up, the timely premise, hell, even the chat room dialogue featuring some hilarious pop culture Easter eggs are just so good. I especially enjoyed Juliette Cecille’s performance; I’d love to know how they filmed her gorging so much ramen noodles for the film. “Mukbang” really twists and contorts a modern trend to comment on the concept of the “Youtube Celebrity” and it ends on a slick stinger that I absolutely loved.

* There’s also a sequel!