Review: Errors of the Human Body (2012)
Dr. Geoff Burton (Michael Eklund) is an American is a young genetics researcher trying to find a cure for a strange, new disease that killed his baby. After naming the disease after himself, (because that’s what scientists do), a failed marriage (because he worked too much and the baby-thing) he is invited to Dresden, Germany to work on a project. Without knowing what he is getting himself into, he moves there to collaborate with fellow researcher Rebekka (Karoline Herfurth). Everything seems to go well for a while, but wait: there’s a creepy bald guy (Thómas Lemarquis) trying to compromise their experiments on tissue-regeneration or just trying to get there first. Meanwhile, Burton is struggling with his own demons and past, while his newly found love interest, cutie two-shoes Rebekka is hiding some dirty little secrets of her own.
This is Australian writer/director Eron Sheean’s first feature film, showing some interesting ideas and a lot of room for improvement. Sheean tells his story mostly through visuals, instead of words, which is lucky because that what he seems to be best at. There is some striking, surreal dream imagery, while the dialogue and screenplay are flawed and clichéd: Though he tries to step away from some tropes he falls into some repeatedly, the mad scientist being the main one.
The acting is mostly okay, however not very believable in the more dramatic romance scenes. The romantic angle in general only works to a certain extent, as the film progresses it becomes more and more cheesy and bloated. I can’t comment on the scientific “accuracy” of the film, but some of the lack of security and organization in an advanced lab like the one portrayed was a bit jarring, especially considering that we’re in Germany, and not some third world country.
Borrowing a lot from David Cronenberg’s body horror films I found ‘Errors’ to be reminiscent of another recently failed experiment coming from Cronenberg’s own son Brandon in Antiviral (2012). On the bright side I also thought of Vincenzo Natali’s Splice (2009), which I’m sure inspired Sheean. It’s good to see someone starting their career with an original film instead of a remake or other easily marketable products. The atmosphere and pacing of the film work well, but where’s the payoff?
The ending is very unsatisfying, I don’t even know if it should qualify as an ending at all. I got a “That’s it?” reaction, which is never a good thing, although I must admit that I still wanted to like the movie as a whole, because like I said there are some glimpses of greatness. I just wish some elements were developed more instead of just being introduced, without ever being fully realized.
Rating on First Viewing
(on my laptop)
4.5 out of 10