Friday, 4 March 2011

The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

Year: 2010
Director: Tom Six
Screenplay: Tom Six
Starring: Dieter Laser, Ashley C. Williams, Ashlynn Yennie, Akihiro Kitamura
Running Time: 91 minutes
Genre: Horror, science-fiction

Summary: Lindsay (Williams) and Jennie (Yennie) are American tourists travelling in Germany. One night their rental car gets a puncture on a remote road. After walking around a forest for about an hour in the rain, they stumble upon a house owned by eminent surgeon Dr. Heiter (Laser), who is known for his groundbreaking research in seperating conjoined twins. It turns out that he has grown bored of his work and plans to reverse the process, intending to surgically attach three people together through a single digestive system, to create a "human centipede". He intends to make the two tourists and Katsuro (Kitamura), another of his prisoners, into his unwilling victims.

Opinions: This Dutch film has been pretty controversial due to it's stomach-churning subject matter. However despite being gruesome it's not excessively gory, there are many other mainstream horror films which depict far more graphic gore and violence. The horror comes from the basic concept and the resulting creation, all of which loses it's impact long before the film is over. It's well-made with effective use being made of the white, sterile interiors of the surgeons house and basement laboratory. The performances are effective especially Dieter Laser as the irredemably evil mad scientist Dr. Heiter. It's well directed, and there is some suspense generated. The problem is that it plays all it's cards too early and as a result there isn't much left and the film runs out of ideas. The movie moves at a slow pace, and the tone throughout is so bleak that it ends up being more depressing than entertaining.
It is worth watching for horror fans, though. It will also be likely to interest fans of "extreme cinema", but they may be disappointed that it isn't more shocking. It will probably end up becoming something of a cult film. However with Dr. Heiter the film does provide one of the most memorable and terrifying horror movie monsters of recent years.
A sequel, entitled The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence), is apparently planned for a theatrical release in 2011.

Ashley C. Williams, Dieter Laser and Ashlynne Yennie in The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

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