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Unhuman (2022)

'Blumhouse' as a horror centric production company is something I seem to be losing more and more faith in, in recent years. Yet, 'Unhuman' was a film I was quite excited about when I first saw the trailer announcement. As someone who's go-to easy watching is zombie comedies, when watching the trailer for this all I wanted was nothing more than a fun zombie horror comedy that requires little depth, based on a tried and tested formula that I can put on and just sit back and relax to. Surely even a basic premise like this isn't hard to get wrong... right?

Well, where do I start. As stylised as this film tries to be with its animated storyboard editing techniques and slow motion action sequences, there is no hiding the amateur quality of its overly ambitious production. The slow motion aspect especially is extremely frustrating and used way too frequently. When a stylistic technique such as this is used excessively like it is here, it never has the intended effect of enhancing suspension for the audience and instead just creates a disorientating experience and becomes rather uncomfortable to watch.

The casting consists of overly generic teens that struggle to generate a single ounce of character development between them. Having this lack of emotional investment ultimately leads to us as a viewer having no one to attach to on a personal level. This is a pivotal factor in a film like this, we need someone to go on this journey with and experience the highs and lows of their situation and the turmoil as they lose friends along the way. I'm not going to mention any cast members in particular as collectively they are all one note and have no shining attributes to separate them as individuals.

I will give 'Unhuman' credit for one thing and that is the use of a surprise story twist that I honestly didn't see coming and I genuinely found to be particularly interesting. Given it had some more intelligent writers behind it, I think this turn could have elevated this film to seriously note worthy levels. However, this unfortunately came too little too late in its run time and is then executed to an unfulfilling level. Even after being pulled through the messy production and poor casting prior to this turn of events, I could see how this change in narrative could have pulled my back into the story if developed with more intellectual logic.

One thing that is vital to a "zomcom" is the comedy, something that 'Unhuman' completely misses the mark on. I'm not sure who 'Blumhouse' envisioned being the target audience for this film, but it certainly wasn't me. The punchlines felt dated and with so many opportunities readily available, every attempt at a one liner fell very flat and had me constantly rolling my eyes. Considering the easy formula at hand for this type of easy watching film, I'm dumbfounded at how badly they managed to get this element of the film wrong.

Considering this is only one 1 hour and 30 minutes, it just would not end. Once the final showdown takes place we still continue to get a further 15 minutes of pointless story wrapping up plot points that have no depth and are unnecessary to explore in a film as disappointing as this. As fun and entertaining as I know these films can be, by the time the 40 minute mark had reached I was already annoyed with the time wasted on 'Unhuman'. There are some interesting ideas briefly touched upon, but the overall messy production and lack of development results in a mess from start to finish. Do not waste your time, like 'Blumhouse' has once again wasted mine.



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