Appreciating The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

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Photo: Bounty Films

When this guy speaks, you listen.

I will say this: Dr. Heiter is a deranged animal. As such, I could not bring myself to dissect his mentality or consider the film as a stupid schlock piece. I felt compelled to follow his decisions, his movements, without seriously questioning anything. How could I understand what he was doing? It was all very matter of fact, systematic, and I felt as though I became part of his routine. Oddly enough, I wasn’t even disturbed by that, which makes me think the movie is successfully scary after all.

As I stated earlier, this film would have been more profound at an earlier time in history — not just because Nazis were fresher then, but because audiences would have been more reactive to dynamics in general. Now I think they lack the attention span for Dr. Heiter’s project. They’ll probably place it in a categorical slot, judging the movie before it’s even begun.

This wasn’t as much a problem for earlier shock movies, such as the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. When that came out, audiences were pretty shocked by it, not knowing quite what to expect. People imagined blood and gore that wasn’t even in the movie.

Photo: Bounty Films

Sure, he can do it. But why?!

Now people demand to see blood and gore, often wanting that slop more than any story or character development. People see movies knowing what to expect, and what they want. They have some very specific ideas. Also, they will likely pretend to be more jaded than they actually are, just to seem cool. Unfortunately for them, The Human Centipede is not a really cool movie. Few will brag much about seeing it. If they do, they’ve almost missed the point.

The best way to appreciate The Human Centipede is perhaps to not try appreciating it at all. Just let it crawl over you like a perplexing creature. After a while you’ll be done with it. That’s when you should probably take a shower and go about your day.

Next: The Piper: An Old Legend With A New Face

Still, I can promise you that, deep down in your mind, you will be saying “This could happen to me.” That is what horror does, and what horror is. That is the Human Centipede experience. There is someone like Dr. Heiter out there, and you know it. Have a nice day!