Errors of the Human Body (2012)
Review by Jude Felton
Some movies have a tendency to pass by undetected by the film-going public, whereas some you just can’t avoid reading or hearing about. Alas, I feel Eron Sheean’s Errors of the Human Body may fall into the former category and by no fault of its own as it is a thoroughly engrossing thriller.
Dr Geoff Burton (Michael Eklund) is starting work at a new research facility, with hopes to further develop his genetic research. Haunted by the loss of his child who, as a result of his death, has spurred on his work, he sets about fitting into his new role.
It is whilst working here that he meets a former student, Rebekka, who has moved forward in her career and is working on gene replacement, alongside the creepy Jarek. Overseeing the entire operation is Samuel Mead, who is surprisingly played by Rik Mayall.
Errors of the Human Body, as a film, is as much about the interaction between the leads, as it is about the genetics they are doing research on. Yes, things do go pear-shaped, and you would expect them to in a film of this style. However, instead of racing toward the action, of what little there really is, the film focuses on the slow-burn build-up of events. It’s a film that will ask you questions, some of which it will answer, as it weaves its wicked web.
Carrying the film, and ably supported by a terrific cast, is Eklund as Burton. His performance is excellent, and he manages to convey a man truly haunted by his past, yet one that also may have secrets of his own. It’s a subtle performance, but a very good one, and after appearances in The Divide and The Day is definitely becoming an actor to keep an eye on.
This film does slowly get under your skin, and there are one or two fairly disturbing scenes. On the whole though it is a very dialogue driven movie, so if you are looking for non-stop action you’d be best off looking elsewhere. However, if the early films of Cronenberg or more recent films like Cell Count or Splice are your thing, you would be well advised to check this out. Unlike Splice though, Errors of the Human Body focuses very much on the before, rather than after. You aren’t going to get strange genetic mutations running around, and due to this it works incredibly well.
Personally I thought Errors of the Human Body was a terrific film. It’s subtle and disturbing, and keeps you guessing throughout. You might not get all the answers to your questions, and it might not go quite as far as it could have, but what it does deliver is a good taut thriller.
Errors of the Human Body is currently playing in select theaters and is also available on VOD, SundanceNOW and other Digital Outlets.