Friday, August 30, 2013

Netflix streaming tip: So-so sci-fi via Eron Sheean's ERRORS OF THE HUMAN BODY

Children, family, genetics and rogue science all get an interesting workout in the sci-fi/mutant disease thriller, ERRORS OF THE HUMAN BODY, directed and co-written (with Shane Danielsen) by Eron Sheean. This German/U.S.A. co-production features some bleak German interiors and exteriors, an international cast of some note, one pretty good surprise at the finale, and a story that keep threatening to matter but never quite does. Oh, yes-- and a really fab performance from a white mouse who pulls out all the stops and who ought to get the best animal actor award for this past year's efforts.

This mouse (above and on poster, top) is toyed with, abused, loses its tail and finally all but drowns, and the scene in which it struggles valiantly for breath and life is something to see. Luckily it has no dialog to deliver. The human actors here are not that fortunate, and it proves to be the dialog, as much as anything, that finally sinks the movie. What we hear is serviceable and moves the plot along, but often enough it just doesn't sound much like real conversation.

The plot, such as it is: A relatively young and hunky scientist/doctor Michael Eklund, holding that mouse, two photos above), after the terrible death of his son via some unknown virus that deforms and kills the infant, goes abroad to Germany to work for a new labora-tory involved in experiments that appear to have to do with what killed his son. There he gets involved with some weird co-workers (Karoline Herfurth, above, from We Are the Night) and Tómas Lemarquis (below, and yes! from Nói, the Albino, and Painless), who seems to be compiling quite the resumé of odd characters.

Errors of the Human Body is not at all difficult to watch. It offers several of those buttons that many of us want pushed: the weird, the scary and the moving (there ain't much humor here, however). But it is unable to do more than show us those buttons; when it comes to pushing, the film's fingers go limp. There is that final surprise, however, which is probably the very thing that fueled the fire for the idea for this screenplay. Yet even that surprise, by the time it arrives, seems too little too late.

The movie, from IFC Films and running 101 minutes, is available now from Netflix streaming and probably elsewhere, too. But if you're looking for a really good sci-fi/fantasy/scare movie about genetic tinkering, take a look at Splice.


Victoria Poulin said...

I am awaiting for the release of movie Fifty shades of grey...Soon....
the movie fifty shades of grey

James van Maanen said...

All this hoo-hah devoted to one single movie? Which isn't even out there yet, so who knows just how laughable it might be? Well, we'll see....

Meanwhile, expand your horizons a little, Victoria. There is so much else out there -- documentaries, foreign films, little independent movies with so much to offer -- that devoting all this energy to this would-be, super-sexed-up movie seems somehow wasteful.

François Ozon's IN THE HOUSE arrives on DVD and Blu-ray this September. Give that a try and discover a movie that has everything: sex, sensuality, storytelling and incredible creativity.