Wednesday, August 1, 2012

ERRORS OF THE HUMAN BODY (2012) review


Errors of the Human Body (2012) d. Sheehan, Eron (Germany)

The Divide scribe Sheehan takes the directing reins, reuniting with that film’s breakout star Michael Eklund for this chilly exercise in body horror. Walking a precarious tightrope between authenticity and inaccessibility, Eklund is a bit of a cipher in his muted portrayal of a discredited biochemist devastated by the loss of his infant son to a mysterious mutating disease. Called to Germany five years later by a colleague (The Young Ones star Rik Mayall), the still-grieving doc reunites with former flame Karoline Herfurth, who just happens to be on the brink of a breakthrough utilizing her old mentor’s theories. Fertile ground for science-run-amok mutation madness, but Sheenan pulls things up short with a muted visual palette and deliberate pace. While this “bleak is beautiful” aesthetic is admirable, the viewer is ultimately left stranded in bathos, unable to connect with Eklund despite our comprehension of his emotional state and precious few thrill-ride creature effects to compensate. A final plot reveal packs a retroactive wallop, but arrives a little late to save the day. Still, Sheehan, with his sure, uncompromising vision, is clearly a talent to watch.

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