With a flash of bright white light, 80 people mysteriously appear in a strange and otherworldly place. The first thing that they hear seems to be a set of rules being told to them in their own voice and language: “Only one will win”, the ominous voice tells them. “The school, the house and the prison are safe. Follow the arrows. Stay on the path. If you are lapped twice – you will die. Do not touch the grass – or you will die. Race – or die”…and with that, a macabre and brutal competition begins. Read on for more of Adrian’s thoughts on The Human Race
The people caught up in the race come from all walks of life: young and old, rich and poor, fit and disabled, virtuous or wicked. It would seem that the event does not discriminate. The main protagonist of the film is Eddie, who is played with an immediately likable charm by Eddie McGee. Eddie is an ex-army officer who has lost a leg in a recent war. It was during this time that he met another major player of the film, Justin, who is now a special needs teacher and all around nice guy. Eddie and Justin are the anchors of the film and we follow their struggle as they try and balance staying alive with helping the other people in the race. Not an easy task when some of the competitors just want to win the race and will do anything to do so, no matter how violent or deceptive.
The other two main characters in the film are a man and a woman played by T. Arthur Cottam and Trista Robinson who are two deaf friends. The dynamic between these two is difficult to judge. Are they in love? Do they want to be together? What is the basis of their relationship exactly? The man seems to be a natural cynic whilst the woman looks for the positives in life and as the story unfolds, it is Trista Robinson who gives the most passionate and raw performance of the entire film. She is definitely an extremely talented actress. It becomes apparent as things progress that the duo were both contending with serious difficulties in their lives before they came to be in their current situation. It’s this fact that seems to be the only common factor that connects all of the people in the tale together.
With the exception of Justin perhaps, there is something profoundly wrong with all of their lives and this is where the film raises a multitude of questions. What connects all of the contenders? Why are they there? Where are they? What is the purpose of the event? These questions keep you glued to the screen from beginning to end.
The Human Race could just as easily be described as a science fiction film or a thriller as a horror. It’s also a high concept film, meaning that to get the most out of it, you have to engage your mind. Yes, this type of film has been done before in films like Battle Royale and Death Race 2000 to mention just two, but The Human Race escapes being a purely derivative film because it makes you engage emotionally with all of its characters. It’s also wonderfully bloodthirsty, with people’s heads exploding in a fountain of red every time they break a rule. My only major gripe about the film would be that I didn’t like the ending, but I think that’s probably just personal preference as someone else might just as easily love it.
The Human Race is in theatres and on VOD and iTunes from June 13th and available on DVD from July 22nd. It is directed by Paul Hough and stars Paul McCarthy-Boyington, Eddie McGee, Trista Robinson, T. Arthur Cottam, Fred Coury and Richard Gale. It is being released courtesy of Xlrator Media.