Errors Of The Human Body may only be considered a suspenseful thriller, but to me it’s straight horror. Why? I’ll be completely honest with you all – science terrifies me. I understand the need to always keep learning and create even greater understandings about this big, glorious universe we all live on, but at what cost? Do we really need to be creating super hadron colliders which can smash particles at the risk of creating a black hole which could potentially consume our planet? Think about it, if one measly scientist were to calculate a number wrong to the decimal point – boom, goodbye humanity. “Well the good news is, we discovered a new element. The bad news is, we’re all going to die – IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE!”
That’s where first time director Eron Sheean, co-writer on 2011’s The Divide, comes in with this year’s Errors Of The Human Body, a film which explores the biological side of science and medicine, outlining the various stages of curing a disease and mutating current strains to unlock new results.
Starring Michael Eklund (The Call/The Divide) as Dr. Geoff Burton, we pick up his journey as he starts working in the world-renowned Institute for Molecular Cell Biology & Genetics, reuniting with an old intern of his named Rebekka (Karoline Herfurth). Now a respected member of the scientific community, Rebekka looks for help from her old mentor as she’s hit a roadblock with some interesting discoveries which surround the regeneration of cells, but she can’t seem to get her new gene to work in mammals. Dr. Burton draws on his past to try and bring Rebekka’s project to the next level, but becomes weary when another scientist named Jarek (Tómas Lemarquis) shows interest in more dangerous methods of research around the new gene, causing Dr. Burton to play more of a detective role than scientific mastermind.
In the true nature of science, let’s dissect Sheean’s film under a microscope and discover the horrors of modern scientific research he’s able to create, but also the inconsistently engaging nature Errors Of The Human Body unfortunately suffers from.
Thematically, Sheean’s film captures the dismal and dangerous nature of scientific research, but also displays the fragile nature of this big wondrous planet we call Earth. The gene in question is actually the strain of another virus, showing how something so destructive can become beneficial just by changing the sequencing of some particle data, but also the horrors of getting that one tiny sequence wrong and destroying us all. Sheean knows there is horror to be found in playing God and trying to do the right thing, as some minds aren’t stable enough to do so responsibly – which is exactly where Lemarquis comes in as the sneaky-snake character Jarek.
With that said, the performances all work rather well too, with the exception of Karoline Herfurth if I’m being honest.
Michael Eklund fits the role of Dr. Burton rather well, splitting his time as a struggling scientist and grieving ex-husband. Yes, like any good character set-up, Burton is just coming out of the heartbreaking loss of a significant other, which helps guide his actions at times by causing fits of despair. All too clichéd, yes, but the reason for the breakup plays a necessary role in the story – one I don’t spoil here. Concerning Eklund though, I thought Dr. Burton to be a rather strong lead for such a film, and it’s a shame that Eklund doesn’t have more high-profile Hollywood parts.
Tómas Lemarquis also does a bang up job, representing everything Jarek needed to be as a “villain,” especially concerning his physical mannerisms. Just looking at Lemarquis’ bald head, shifty demeanor, beady eyes, and unique look made everything Jarek did seem slithery in nature, almost standing out too much as a conflicting character.
But with that said comes the character of Rebekka and the more visible failures of Errors Of The Human Body, as Herfurth’s character seemed nothing but a silly girl at times, struggling with her emotions when grander events were at hand. She obviously plays a re-kindled love interest for Dr. Burton, intervening with emotional distress while a life-altering discovery rests in the balance, and adds a sort of soap-opera like blandness to Sheean’s film. The gravity of the situation is almost completely lost among more dreary and less-riveting scenes of research or relationship drama, losing the feeling of scientific amazement that should have dominated the screenplay 95% of the time. Mix that with the dreary snow-covered backdrops and metallic lab equipment which fill every scene, and we’re left with nothing characteristically unique about what becomes just another brainiac thriller with an obtrusive ending which seems to just want to end on a dark note for the hell of shock and awe.
Errors Of The Human Body unfortunately does a great job of taking a rather intelligent and thought-provoking plot and wasting said opportunity on average, run-of-the-mill craftsmanship with no distinct pop or style. Not only that, but it squanders decent performances throughout the cast in the process, chalking this sci-fi/horror hybrid up to nothing but wasted potential – like a science fair project gone horribly wrong.
Errors Of The Human Body surely lives up to its title, riddling this cinematic body with errors as well.