If you wish to go to the current Fangoria site, you may click the top logo, "Home" or "News" links. Or click here.
One of the joys of this year’s Fantasia film festival in Montreal has been
seeing all the evidence of how successfully mutable the horror genre can be.
That’s literal in the case of ERRORS OF THE HUMAN BODY, which emphasizes the
dramatic over the shocking even as it deals with mutations of genetic
World-premiering at Fantasia (where it has its second showing today),
ERRORS OF THE HUMAN BODY was scripted (with Shane Danielsen) and directed by
Eron Sheean, who previously co-wrote THE DIVIDE and brought back that film’s
most memorable actor, Michael Eklund, to star in this one. As opposed to his
unhinged DIVIDE antagonist, here Eklund portrays a more disciplined man of
science, geneticist Geoffrey Burton, who is summoned to take part in
experiments at a German facility (played by the Max Planck Institute of
Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden). Particularly driven by the
death of his infant son from a rare disorder, which led to the collapse of his
marriage, Geoff begins working alongside former intern Rebekka (WE ARE THE
NIGHT’s Karoline Herfurth) on a project involving the regeneration of human
tissue and body parts. One of their colleagues is Jarek Novak, played by Tomas
Lemarquis, whose striking bald-and-blue-eyed visage makes Novak visually cued
to be an antagonist—and indeed, Geoff soon comes to believe that he’s pursuing
a mysterious agenda of his own.
ERRORS isn’t a simple story of good and bad doctors, though;
the ways in which Geoff allows his personal issues to affect his professional
demeanor threaten to make him his own worst enemy. Sheean explores the expected
ethical questions about screwing with our genetic makeup while making the conduct
and conflicts of those involved the spine of his story, generating suspense
through their behavior rather than from the promise of horrific developments.
It all hinges on Eklund’s characterization of Geoff, and after going so
memorably over the top in THE DIVIDE, he proves equally compelling holding
things back, even as Geoff’s past tragedy and current suspicions about Novak’s
work unbalance him emotionally and mentally—never a good condition for a
scientist to be in.
Sheean, on the other hand, maintains a cool control over his
material, making the environment a crucial part of the narrative as the sterile
halls and labs of the Planck Institute and the wintry Dresden exteriors
practically impose despair upon Geoff. Lemarquis’ looks make Novak almost seem
like an extension of this milieu, and he stands as a memorable intellectual
antagonist. Providing a bit of warmth in the midst of all this chill is
Herfurth as Rebekka, also struggling to balance the personal and professional,
and yes, that’s THE YOUNG ONES’ Rik Mayall, a little filled out and
convincingly playing it straight as their supervisor, Dr. Samuel Mead.
It’s probably impossible to discuss ERRORS OF THE HUMAN BODY
in genre terms without invoking the oeuvre of David Cronenberg, and while
Sheean isn’t as focused in the physiological manifestations of his principals’
scientific dabbling, there are moments—particularly during flashbacks involving
Geoff’s afflicted baby—that are certainly graphic and distressing. The more
Geoff allows his suspicions to overtake him, the more he leads himself into
dark territories, and patient genre fans will find their investment in the
narrative rewarded by a couple of horrific developments in the final act. The
final and most breath-stopping revelation, though, is a quiet one, positing
quite powerfully that acting out of sympathy, not ambition or ruthlessness, is
the greatest error a human body can make.
JOIN OUR COMMUNITY AND BE THE FIRST TO KNOW ABOUT NEWS, CONTESTS, EVENTS AND MORE!
All contents © 2011 Fangoria Entertainment