Fantastic Fest: ‘Errors of the Human Body’ Presents A Man Divided

By  · Published on September 26th, 2012

by Michael Treveloni

Todays world moves quickly. With little warning events come to pass, leaving traces behind to be revisited or discarded down the line. The puzzle is always shifting and the image is never the same as when it first appeared. In an age of communication, breakdowns are imminent. For Doctor Geoff Burton (Michael Eklund), a horrible memory has imbedded itself deep inside, to exorcise it he must confront more than he cares to remember.

Lured to Dresden, Germany a few years after suffering through a great misfortune, Burton works to continue his controversial genetic research. It is his work that keeps him going, offering distractions while presenting an opportunity to aid millions around the world. He keeps his work close, after all some of it was responsible for the dissolution of his marriage. Compounding things is Rebekka (Karoline Herfurth), the woman who sought him out. Having worked together previously (she the student, he the professor), Rebekka suggested he come do research at her current facility; to aid with her experiments and potentially stretch the boundaries of science. The two have a history, but history has a way of being revised.

Their work with a human regeneration gene is promising, exciting the few who know and understand the gravity it presents. One colleague, Jarek (Tómas Lemarquis), has particular interest in the findings; and ideas on how to improve them for his own gain. While the trio is essentially a team, divides in ethics and personalities keep them at odds. When a conspiracy amongst fellow scientists is revealed, Geoff doesn’t know who he can trust. His paranoia swings into full gear when a virus is discovered, one that carries with it a population decimating potential. Worse, Geoff is patient zero, infected with a pathogen born from his own DNA.

Dormant and neglected memories bubble to the surface. Transformations occur physically and mentally, pushing him closer towards a past he left behind. The unexpected circumstances are entirely his own, forcing a confrontation no one ever expected.

The horrors extolled in Errors of the Human Body are woven delicately through its course. Interpersonal relationships ground the drama against the film’s science while internal struggles supply the horror. The film is a not just a science-fiction horror story: it is a commentary on the importance of dialog, showcasing the need for communication in its many forms. With Geoff, Errors presents the perfect, damaged subject, highlighting his personal trauma against those who surround him. Characters collide in conversation, breaking against one another; creating an orbit that begs for order and searching for a hand willing enough to start the process. It makes an argument that there isn’t necessarily good and bad, just misunderstandings, and the lack of willingness to listen. We’re all architects with tools at our disposal, some of them are hidden while others are more available but construction and rebuilding can only begin when we allow it.

The Upside: Fans of Cronenberg should take note.

The Downside: There are some tough and realistic effects that can be hard to watch.

On the Side: Director Eron Sheean shot on location at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden.

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