I took a look into Cannibals in film and documentary.
Interview with a Cannibal: Issei Sagawa felt it an obligation to eat a western woman so he murdered and ate a classmate in his apartment.
However our character of the stranger hasn’t planned to eat anyone – he’s more of an opportunist and has eaten the previous owner of the camp because he’s just so hungry that it’s now a means of survival. This documentary was a little too much for our character but I then came across a documentary which is a little more suited to the character we want to portray with the stranger.
A plane crash lands in the Andes, eventually the survivors run out of food and begin eating those passengers that didn’t survive the crash. When the body is starved it starts to break down the fat it has stored, next it moves on to using the muscles as a source of nutrition before finally beginning to digest organs, this is information will be useful when it comes to creating the 3D version of the Stranger – how skinny/ gaunt he should be, where he would still be carrying weight depending on how long he has been in the forest and when was the last time he had eaten.
The survivors only turned to eating human flesh because they were starving – they don’t consider themselves cannibals – this was a means of survival, they didn’t have a desire to do it then nor after the event. This is more similar to our character of the stranger, the world is dying and his only way of continue to survive was to eat the previous owner of the camp – he didn’t set out to do it, he hadn’t planned it, he’s an opportunist just wanting to survive.
The clip above taken from The Road shows how the camera reveals to the boy that there is something not right about this house… the pots outside, the hooks, the red stains in the snow and not to mention the state of the upstairs bathroom where they eventually realise that the people who live here are in fact eating those humans kept under the house. This provides a good reference as to how we could reveal to the audience that whoever lives in the camp isn’t a nice person, through various stages starting off small and vague building up to something much more obvious and direct to the audience.