This weekend sees the limited-release of an independent horror movie so horrific that New York magazine is offering moviegoers tips to help control their nausea. Conceived by Dutch-born writer/director Tom Six, The Human Centipede is about a sinister German doctor who kidnaps and drugs two young girls and performs gruesome surgical experiments. To say any more might be a spoiler — or just unkind — but internet buzz is promising to turn the movie into the next viral phenomenon. Is The Human Centipede the most disgusting movie ever made? (Watch the trailer for The Human Centipede)
It certainly comes close: Consider this a warning, says Frank Scheck in the Hollywood Reporter. The Human Centipede is "so horrifically twisted that it makes the Saw and Hostel movies look like lighthearted romps." Although "stylishly photographed and edited," this nightmarish effort "crosses the line from horror to just plain sick."
"The Human Centipede — film review"
The biggest shock is how incompetent the film is: This "93-minute stunt" of a movie is a big let-down, says Michael Gingold at Fangoria. You'll be pulled in by the "twisted premise," but the film is "paradoxically coy about following through with the gory details." The audience segment that actually seeks out gross-out spectaculars will be disappointed in this "sham."
"The Human Centipede (First sequence)"
It may not be gory, but it will still terrify you: It's true the film isn't "explicit," says Karina Longworth in the Village Voice. But the filmmakers maintain a "steady aura of stomach-churning dread" through "performance and suggestion," rather than buckets of gore. Despite that gruesome premise, this is purely "psychological horror" — and no less frightening for that.
"Tom Six's torture-porn game-changer The Human Centipede"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How academia's liberal bias is killing social science
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How I lost all my money
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- Pope Francis' American problem
- A brief history of the Christmas present
- Why Pakistan won't hunt down the terrorists within its borders
- 10 things you need to know today: December 20, 2014
- Vox, derp, and the intellectual stagnation of the left
Subscribe to the Week