With its atmosphere of clinical creepiness, the slow-burn biotech horror film Errors Of The Human Body tries to evoke the menace David Cronenberg but is let down by a slow and uninvolving story.
Set within the world of cutting edge genetic research and filmed at an actual medical facility in Dresden, Germany, this film features Michael Eklund as renowned scientist Dr Geoff Burton who has taken up a post researching genetic abnormalities. Still troubled by his son’s mysterious death, he has become morose and aloof and has trouble acclimatizing to his new workplace. He soon becomes entangled, however, in a sinister experiment involving a hideous virus, a mutating mouse, a former lover (Karoline Herfurth) and a creepy baldy who is such an obvious villain he might as well be wearing a neon sign saying “bad guy”.
The film is occasionally tense and intriguing and often generates a feeling that something weird and disgusting is about to happen. Unfortunately, not much does happen as the film trades sci fi horror for uninvolving personal drama. The fact that Burton isn’t a particularly likeable or interesting character makes it hard to become immersed in this drama. Strangely, for an esteemed scientist Burton does a lot sneaking around corridors but not much actual work.
An odd but effective piece of casting is former Young Ones star Rik Mayall as the head of the research facility. He’s now a portly middle-aged gent and delivers a restrained and dignified performance here.
It’s hard to say exactly whom this film is aimed at. It’s too restrained for the horror crowd but it’s also too much of a straightforward genre pic to entice the art-house crowd. Technically, the film has some impressive qualities, the cinematography is appropriately moody and the film makes good use of the imposing snow-covered surrounds of Dresden. Atmospheric visuals do not, however, make up for the thin story.
Errors of the Human Body promises a creepy and sinister thriller but in the end delivers only a middling drama.
Nick’s rating: Two and a half stars.
Director(s): Eron Sheean
Release date: 20th June 2013
Running time: 101 mins.
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