Posted by: Nick Walters | April 4, 2011

The Human Centipede

Not available on the NHS - fortunately

I’m a seasoned horror fan, and there were at least two times I screamed “NooooOOOOO!” whilst watching this film.  My shrieks were  immediately followed by uncontrollable laughter. The Human Centipede is an excellent horror film and a black comedy all in one. It’s played so straight – it has to be – that the laughs come when you least expect it.

It makes other “torture porn” films look childish and silly. The film takes its grotesque central concept and runs with it. It looks good, too. If this were made in the mid-80’s it would be an unwatchable gorefest, but the cinematography here is quite beautiful.

As for the performances,  I didn’t find the two American girls at all annoying. It’s quite touching when we see them imprisoned helpless in the centipede, unable to talk, desperately holding hands. I found those scenes the most uncomfortable to watch. Well done to the director for including them.

Japanese actor Akihiro Kitamura, who plays the front of the centipede, deserves mention. It must be one of the most undeserving, difficult roles in any film ever.  He carries quite a lot of  the movie, does a very good job, and provides one of the most shocking twists.

Dieter Laser? Crazy name, crazy guy! A brilliant performance. He looks like some sort of skeletal, insectoid alien to start with. He’s absolutely terrifying as the crazed surgeon Heiter, playing it cool most of the time, but sometimes going gloriously OTT. “Feed her. FEED HER!” His calm confusion at an escape attempt – “what do you think you are doing, are you mad?” – and his obvious belief that his subjects should be proud of being part of his experiment is scarier than any amount of gore.

Talking of which, the subject matter is so horrific, so original, that – as I read in an interview – director Tom Six decided to keep the gore to a minimum, in order to desensitise audiences to the idea of a human centipede. The sequel, “The Human Centipede – Full Sequence” will contain “all the blood and shit that was missing from the first one”, he says. I can’t wait.

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