Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Too Late is a horror comedy that fails to find the perfect balance of the two genres. A reliance on stale stand-up comedy acts to drive the story along is a bit lazy. For some reason, the constant ‘several weeks later’ passages of time and stand-up routines add the feel of vignettes. Occasionally, one of the jokes from these will land, but more often than not, they fall with a heavy thud. Ditzy assistant Gina (Mary Lynn Rajskub) works for a world-famous comedian, Bob Devore (Ron Lynch), and helps him obtain his human meals: budding, talented comedians. When Gina meets Jimmy (Will Weldon), “the least desperate person she’s met in years” becomes the next target of Devore and his insatiable appetite.

The tease of smart commentary implying that comedians aren’t really people never gets further than a throwaway remark. The slow-burn plot becomes a bit frustrating and takes way too much time establishing that Gina works in stand up. Gina apathy towards her boss‘ cannibalistic diet is an especially puzzling choice. There are so many openings for Gina to come clean and escape her circumstances. The dialogue is flat and lifeless, with stunning practical effects work outshining the script pedigree. Devore’s gaping mouth as he sets to devour his prey is really well done. The gnarly FX are the only notably impressive elements of Too Late. Comedy fans may still get a good laugh or too from the sillier stuff. The tension is lacking, and may cause frustration to annoyed fans of the genre. Too Late is more of a light snack than a meal, and it’s barely a horror appetizer.

Too Late premiered at the Seattle International Film Festival, April 8th – April 18th, 2021.

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