Film Review: The Human Centipede


   The favourite maxim of the misanthrope is usually “Hell is other people”. In The Human Centipede the adage could easily be extended to include a disgusting coda: “Hell is other people… surgically attached mouth to anus”.
   The premise for Tom Six’s film is a simple one: A mad scientist decides for his latest experiment he will create a living organism made up of three seperate people co-joined in a centipede-esque shape. The front end of the experiment is the comparatively lucky one due to the revolting way in which they are bound together.
   Unfortunatley for viewers expecting a sensational fright fest, as promised by the hyperbolic marketing of the film, there is little of note here beyond its admittedly original premise. Whilst aspiring to the heights of the “body horror” canon of David Cronenberg, The Human Centipede, despite protestations otherwise, is nothing but the ultimate example of the genre “Torture Porn”. The film exists solely for the viewer to be a voyeur into the suffering of others. But perhaps more so than torture, the “porn” aspect of the film provides a neat summary of its failings. If a porn movie were to show its money shot half way through, the second half of the feature would be dull at best, actionless and staid. This is the case with The Human Centipede.
   Once the plot has been put into place and the centipede has been created the narrative has nowhere to go; Tom Six has evidently had one idea and no knowledge on how to flesh it out into a full movie script. What was initially rather gross becomes repetitive and banal. After the front end has defecated, the film’s equivalent of money shot, what could possibly happen next? As such Centipede has little to offer of horror, scares or interest very shortly into the feature’s running time. Once the initial shocks have faded, and they do very quickly, there is very little to take from this film. And, for a picture that bills itself as “the most horrific ever made”, boredom was not the emotion I was looking for.
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