Hamish MacDonald is a journalist covering a series of murders, railing against the police's incompetence at every turn. Unfortunately, this gets him the attention of the killer Sawney Bean, who has been kidnapping people and dismembering their bodies as food for his relatives. Sawney kidnaps Hamish's fiancee to become the next meal, and to send a message to his nemesis. However, as Hamish tries to rescue his lady love, something is stirring in the cellar that threatens to destroy them all.
The film was distributed in America by Lionsgate.
This film contains examples of:
- Antagonist Title
- Better to Die than Be Killed: A woman Sawney kept as a Sex Slave throws herself off a cliff when her escape attempt fails.
- Big Bad: Mother Bean, a ravenous loon whose children commit cannibalism just to sate her.
- Big Bad Friend: Hamish's Friend on the Force turns out to be one of the Beans.
- Brain Food: One of Sawney's favourite dishes is brain soup.
- Cannibal Clan: The main antagonists are a clan of Scottish man-eaters motivated by a literalist interpretation of Christian communion rites.
- Cop Killer: Sawney makes a beat cop one of his victims for giving him a parking ticket.
- Decapitation Presentation: Sawney offers Hamish some soup made from his girlfriend's head.
- Disc-One Final Boss: It seems like Sawney is the head of the cannibalism operation, but it turns out he's just managing it to sate his ravenous mother, who kills him and becomes the True Final Boss after escaping her basement.
- Downer Ending: Hamish manages to put down the Beans and escape in their taxi, only for the mother of the family to survive and attack him as the film ends.
- The Fundamentalist: Sawney believes the Bible verses about the flesh of man are a call to cannibalism, and acts accordingly.
- Intrepid Reporter: Hamish starts digging into the murders when his friend Charlotte is killed, desperately trying to bring attention to them. After the police prove useless, he starts investigating the atrocities himself.
- Kick the Dog: Sawney sexually assaulting one of his victims, promising to make her his Sex Slave if he enjoys it and kill her if he doesn't.
- Madwoman in the Attic: It turns out the Beans partake in cannibalism to sate their ravenous mother, who is locked in a metal room. The climax has her breaking out and killing Sawney.
- Monster Misogyny: Sawney flat states he finds women tastier than men.
- Not My Driver: Sawney hunts for victims in a taxicab. This one is more believable than most, as he's not seeking a specific target.
- Police Are Useless: The police are more interested in stopping Hamish from exposing the killings than they are in stopping them. As it turns out, this is because the most prominent cop in the movie is in on the cannibalism.
- Predecessor Villain: The original Sawney Bean clan was slaughtered by the Crown 500 years earlier. The current one is borne of their Sole Survivor.
- Villain Opening Scene: Sawney leading a dude into his cave and blasting him with a shotgun.