Sunday, 9 May 2010

The Human Centipede

The film that I've been waiting for since I heard about it has finally got released. But is it a huge let-down or does it stand up as one of the most disturbing horror films out there?

In case you don't know about this already, The Human Centipede is exactly that, three humans linked up arsehole to mouth and forced to crawl around on all fours by a psychotic surgeon and looks like, well, a centipede of sorts.

The story is very, very simple. Two young American girls are lost in the woods of Germany and stumble upon a house where they are soon drugged and forced to be part of a doctor's sick game. Seeing as you know, inevitably, it will happen that they end up 'together', you still can't but help rooting for the main girl to survive and soon, start hoping they might die to save them this torture.

Strangely enough, first reviews I had read described this as a comedy and, for the people who read the same, I want to assure you it isn't supposed to be but sometimes it does come across as funny. The doctors love for his 'sweet 3 dog' which was his first experiment is quite funny, and the acting, particularly in the beginning is atrocious. But this works perfectly well as a sick horror film that makes for a tough watch at times.

What I like about this film is that despite it's obstacles, you can tell it has been made with great passion. Seeing as most of the action takes place in a house, you imagine the budget is very small and that they have tried to appeal to as global a market as possible. Most of it is in English, it's set in Germany so there's some German in it and a Japanese guy who speaks neither which caters for the J-Horror fans. There's so many holes in the plot that it looks like Swiss cheese but I was able to let these brush off for the most part, but some did get stupid. As they try to crawl up the stairs they are starting to painfully break apart but you think, how the hell was the doctor getting them up and down there then in the first place? When one of them escapes, why had she not done it before? Why do they stay quiet when the doctor is on the phone? A lot of editing tries to patch over the problems but you end up shouting at the screen a lot in classic horror style, which I think is a good thing.

The house is also very reflective of the doctor himself. Clean, medical, white and the only colour of the place is coming from horrific artwork of foetus's or blood. The doctor is tall, skinny and looks like a walking corpse already - the perfect strange looking German you could hope for in such a film. His sociopathic hatred of people would probably have got in the way of helping people as a surgeon and his obsession with his work has clearly driven him insane. The way he explains through a shit slideshow of what is about to happen to his guests is remarkable and the way he seems to be quite careless about leaving his guests unattended is irritating but these are script problems more than anything. He tries to excuse his actions by way of experimentation, a God complex of creating a new being, but really it's through sexual gratification. At one point, he even wears boots and whips his new creature, he likes them being obedient and eating shit and, when he notices blood on the stairs, you wonder if he is actually ejaculating as he licks it up.

The process of creating his new being is horrific, they have stuff taken out of their knees so they can never stand and have flesh grafted on to their cheeks linking them to the arse of the one in front and with all their teeth pulled out, they are sewn literally into the asshole of the person in front. When you see the first shit take place, it's enough to make you sick. A lot of the film plays on the pure idea of this form of torture and so should it. It doesn't confuse itself with trying to be more than it is, and for that I'm thankful. The last 10 minutes is excruciating to watch and the final scene leaves you hanging, thinking of how horrible their situation now is.

This film takes a simple idea, albeit a disgusting one, and runs with it. The acting of everyone but the doctor is diabolical, the set-up is ridiculous, the script is full of flaws but it does the job. It's not as hard to watch, or as good as, Martyrs which I can't help but compare it to, but I did think it was a great idea to horrify audiences in this way and it worked well. Anything that shocks is always a good thing, but as a film, it fails. The sickest film out there? Probably not, but it's up there with some of them and definitely sticks in your head for a while. Worth a watch but nothing more, and if you really want to fuck your mind up, go out and get Martyrs.

Rating: 5/10

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