Cathedrals will fall, the river will run red... and THE BIRD will be SLAUGHTERED!

REVIEW: Antihuman

– By Dave Dubrow

Most movie reviewers understand that there’s considerable effort involved in moviemaking, from screenwriting to funding to shooting to editing to distributing and so on. For my part, I want independent cinema to not just survive, but thrive, because that’s where the imagination is. Hollywood’s a horrific cultural wasteland, populated by bloated, sclerotic, unimaginative franchises. So I go into every indie film hoping I’ll dig it. If I dig it, you’ll probably dig it, and hence we reward the moviemaker with free advertising and money so they can keep making movies and entertaining us.

So it gives me no pleasure to tell you that Antihuman is a terrible bore from stem to stern. It’s the longest two hours you’ll ever spend in front of a screen. At no point in its overlong runtime does the film entertain. It’s horribly pretentious to quote oneself, but in my Slaughtered Bird review of the film The Snare, I asked, “What’s the ultimate purpose of any movie? To entertain? To elicit an emotional reaction?” Unfortunately, Antihuman fails to do any of those things, leaving behind an ambivalent emptiness.

In it, Maggie and her three friends, all women, trek through the forest to find Maggie’s childhood home, which turns out to be a mental hospital. Maggie suffers from a terminal illness, two of her friends aren’t terribly nice to her, and she hallucinates things, which would, under different circumstances, create an interesting set of conflicts. Here, they don’t. Arriving at the mental hospital doesn’t make things any more captivating, and the movie just sort of ends without a climax to speak of.

The acting’s fine. The filmmaking’s all right except for the score, which is everpresent, too loud, and distracting. So the movie’s failure has nothing to do with the actors or the equipment or the crew, but rather the producers, directors, and writer. Blame them.

At no point are we given the slightest reason to care about what happens to anyone in the movie, not that anything actually does happen. When the dialogue isn’t clumsy and expository, it’s ponderous, serving up lines like “We women are the worst-treated creatures alive” as though they’re Alan Watts-esque nuggets of wisdom. Every other line is given dreadful weight by endless philosophizing, making each exchange an exercise in competing non-sequiturs. One person asks an irrelevant question, and another person answers it using a metaphor that makes sense only as a kind of reverse koan, where the point is to mire you inside Samsara instead of helping you achieve enlightenment. Hanging over the film’s tedious proceedings is the theme of nuclear war, the most destructive non-sequitur of them all.

Once you reach a certain age you get pretty comfortable with the idea that it’s not your fault that you didn’t understand a piece of art, but rather the artist’s fault for creating such a dense product. Antihuman is that dense product. It’s not that I’m too stupid to get it. It’s that there wasn’t anything to get, and the attempt didn’t deliver a good time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Slaughtered Bird Films’ horror short film, BURN, nabs festival awards!
We don’t like to blow our own trumpets here at The Slaughtered Bird but, y’know, FUCK IT – we’re damn proud of our debut film production, BURN, created in collaboration with Dragon Egg Media! Since post-production finished last year, our 15-minute short has received numerous excellent reviews, been busy finding its feet on the festival circuit and gratefully receiving many Official Selection laurels from around the world, and now it’s picked up its first award… or three! Read on...
INTERVIEW: David Naughton
untitled It’s not every day you get to speak to the lead actor in possibly your favourite horror film of all time. Especially on a Tuesday. Tuesdays are usually rubbish! David Naughton should need no introduction to horror fans. Back in 1981, An American Werewolf In London had unprepared cinema goers laughing heartily one second and jumping out of their seats in terror the next. Its tale of two young American tourists coming face-to-teeth with a legendary lycanthropic beast perfectly married a genuinely funny script with razor sharp editing, groundbreaking special effects and a flawless cast to create a monster movie that is still many people’s benchmark today Read on...
Advertise HERE!
CQJR7SyWwAADBd_ We currently have advertising space available at very reasonable rates, so if you have a product you want to let people know about then please email us at with your needs and we can give you more info. Read on...