The Human Race
Eighty strangers from all walks of life are ripped out of their daily lives and forced to participate in a brutal race to the death. The rules are simple; follow the arrows or you will die, step on the grass and you will die, get lapped twice and you will die. Only one participant will survive. Race or die. There can only be one winner, but who will survive and for what purpose?
Although a tale as old as time survivalist horror has come into prominence over the past decade. From Japan’s Battle Royale to the young adult hit The Hunger Games the sub-genre has been successful worldwide. Well, as expected, the indie horror world decided to take their shot at it with 2013’s The Human Race. The most obvious flaw in the movie is the lack of budget. Not to say that a movie needs a big budget but with an idea this ambitious it would certainly help. Especially when the movie tries to incorporate every survival trope they can fit in; a major negative for the movie. Whether we’re talking about guys suddenly acting incredibly evil to the “Oh my god it brought out the worst in humanity” shtick it’s all here. This particular is best shown in this awful scene where this pregnant woman does this really hackneyed bit where she tells her child the story of The Wizard of Oz but OMG IT’S WHAT’S GOING ON HOW CLEVER IS THAT??!?!?!?!!! Yeah, it’s pretty lame and overwriting (for lack of a better term) seems to be a huge problem for this movie.
This is a shame because the movie had some potential. While the movie has a lot of clichés they also subvert a few of them. Every now and then they’ll throw a curve ball that helps keep you interested in what’s going on. I also thought that that the acting was fine for the most part. Don’t get me wrong there are some bad performances but the main players hold their own. The same can be said of the directing, it’s serviceable but nothing special or unique is ever done.
At the end of the day The Human Race is a missed opportunity. Despite an interesting concept and the occasional good performance the writing and cheap look of the movie kill the whole thing for me. Maybe a bigger budget would help but I guess we’ll just have to wait for Frank Darabont to finally make his version of The Long Walk to get an adaption of the Stephen King story worth making.
Backpacking through the lush Irish countryside, two unsuspecting young couples discover a town’s chilling secret. Ben (Dunbar), Sophie (Bennet), David (Fletcher) and Jeni (Roxburgh) quickly discover the idyllic land is not what it appears to be when the town’s residents offer the hikers an old cabin at the edge of the woods. Soon, the friends will find that one of Ireland’s most famous legends is a terrifying reality. (C) Lionsgate
The Leprechaun series is an interesting beast. Starting in 1993 it ran for a decade on a unique blend of horror and comedy that was sometimes intentionally bad. While hardly a series held in the highest esteem there’s no denying that it had a longevity based on being a guilty pleasure. Naturally they decided to reboot the franchise as a serious creature feature. It goes as well as you think.
Let’s begin with the Leprechaun, what the hell were they thinking? Instead of the traditional little person wearing Gaelic clothing we get this very generic and very rubbery looking monster. A costume so bad that we don’t even get a clear shot of the creature. Every single time they show the creature it’s never a full shot and enough smudge effect to make you think you’ve gone blind. Which brings into question the point of hiring WWE’s Dylan “Hornswoggle” Postl to play the titular beast. I get wanting a “name” for the role but why bother when we never get a good look at him?
The rest of the cast is fine, I guess. They’re devoid of personality and have no motivation for anything they do. They’re just supposed college students that are kind of douchey to one another. Not really likable, not really unlikable, just people there to fill space. The same can be said of director Zach Lipovsky. He isn’t a bad director. Besides having to mask the terrible leprechaun outfit he’s a competent director. He just can’t carry the abysmal script. Coming from first time writer Harris Wilkinson it is the most boring and cliché horror script I’ve seen in quite some time. It’s the kind of awful monster movie Cabin in the Woods was making fun of and even then we would at least get a Merman. Instead we’re stuck with the leftovers from The Descent and really bad photo shop effects.
The Leprechaun movies are awful by nature. They’re stupid, low budget and insanely goofy. But at least they were original. Silly but original. What we get here is a boring, unimaginative and ultimately pointless waste of 90 minutes. I never thought I’d pine for the days of Warwick Davis rapping but here we are.