------Review by contributing writer Scott Baker------
Written & Directed by Vince D'Amato
For me, horror films can be broken up into different categories. For example, there is the SCARIER-THAN-ALL-HELL category. This is what I would use to classify movies like INSIDIOUS and PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. Then, you have AWESOME-GORE films like Peter Jackson’s DEAD ALIVE. There’s also TONGUE-IN-CHEEK-AWESOMENESS such as Sam Raimi’s masterpieces like EVIL DEAD and ARMY OF DARKNESS. It’s fun trying to figure out where your favorite films fall.
But, unfortunately, there’s a downside to categorization as well. Why? Well, for all the movies that suck, you have to find a category for them as well. Is it LOW-BUDGET-BUT-CRAPPILY-DONE? Or is it TOO-STUPID-TO-EXIST? Categorizing the sucky films can be fun as well, but it can also be mind-numbing.
The subject of today’s review is just that: mind-numbingly boring. The film is titled HUMAN NATURE and it was truly an endeavor of stamina to watch. If you are not familiar with HUMAN NATURE, here is the synopsis courtesy of the DVD case:
Inspired by a true story, HUMAN NATURE documents the shocking life of a married man who abducts and tortures women in his garage, while keeping his wife, who longs for his attention, in the dark.
Ok...I know what you’re thinking. The basic premise sounds promising. I know Hayes is a huge fan of serial killer movies, and they hold a special place in my heart as well. BUT...these movies need to have substance. They need to be more than just remakes of every other serial killer flick we’ve seen. Unfortunately, HUMAN NATURE brings nothing new to the table and even lacks enough gore or suspense to keep the audience awake.
I understand this is a low-budget film, but the cinematography is bland and the acting is horrible. Not to mention the fact that the audio is so low that I had to crank my surround sound up just to hear what the actors were saying. But when the “action” started, the sound threatened to blow my speakers. Not sure if this is a transfer glitch from post-production to disk, but it definitely needs to be addressed.
Part of what irritated me so much about HUMAN NATURE is that nothing is ever really explained (or maybe it was and I just missed it because I couldn’t hear the explanation). We have a guy that kidnaps women and tortures and kills them in his garage...while his conveniently-idiotic wife stays in the house and never asks questions. Not only is this unrealistic, it’s boring as well. “Oh look...he got another girl...I wonder what he’ll do this time? Oh...guess he’s going to torture her...” (YAWN)
Don’t get me wrong...many of the serial killer flicks I’ve seen have been entertaining and suspenseful. But they were unique in some form or fashion. Jason (oh yeah...I’m going here, old school) was basically a sadistic kid out to revenge his mom; Freddy could enter your dreams; Jigsaw set up elaborate devices...these guys all had their own flair. Which is something you have to have to survive in the Horror genre. HUMAN NATURE lacks flair, entertainment, interest, and even sensibility.
For me, this film is a big fail. I would not recommend wasting your time on this one.