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Saturday, June 18, 2022

Review: Unhuman

Director: Marcus Dunstan

Screenplay: Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton

Year: 2022

When I started watching “Unhuman” I had no idea what it was about, and once it revealed its theme, I couldn't help but think: “here we go with another zombie movie”. It is worth mentioning that the script had already set off some alarms with the ineffective jokes in the opening scene. As I have written many times before, this is an exhausted genre in which, at this point, it is only worth having a new idea and executed with mastery, and “Unhuman” does not have those characteristics.

In “Unhuman” we follow Ever, a young teenager who doesn't fit in with her other schoolmates. At a school activity, the school van in which several students were traveling is involved in an accident, leaving them stranded in a wooded area. Things take a turn for the worse when the students begin to be attacked by wild creatures and are forced to work together to try and survive.

“Unhuman” has so many problems that it's hard for me to figure out what kind of audience this movie aims at. Starting with the fact that the actors are obviously older than the characters they want to represent, they make it so that neither the audience in the age range of the characters nor the actors can feel represented. Then there is the script, and here we have the vast majority of problems.

The screenplay penned by Marcus Dunstan (“The Collector”) and Patrick Melton (“Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark”) draws inspiration from multiple genres and subgenres and fails at each and everyone it tries to portray. The comedy doesn't work, the action is boring, and the horror elements are highly disappointing. Halfway through, he tries a desperate turn that is interesting at first, but not only does he return to the same problems that he presented in the first half, but he also presents worse ones.

In this twist, the writers try to create a layer driven by a moral message that is more confusing than the rest of the script and only manages to disappoint the viewer again and end up completely disconnecting him from the film. On top of that, you get to witness all these problems in a bad mix of distracting music, bad special effects, and editing decisions for parts of the movie that don't make any sense with the tone or style of the rest of the movie. The only thing that is saved in this movie is the cast, who do a good job, but their effort fails to overcome the terrible script.

“Unhuman” doesn't have any clear ideas and, as a consequence, fails even to clarify the story's moral. The comedy is soft, the horror is almost non-existent, and the technical section is a total disappointment. The only positive thing about the movie is the effort that the cast puts into it and their intention with the plot twist, but none of this serves to make the experience a little more enjoyable.

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