Caught in the shadow of a cinematic legacy or stepping into the light on her own terms? Caitlin Cronenberg’s HUMANE marks her entrance into the feature film arena, and we’re here to dissect just how the threads of family renown and nepotism weave through her narrative tapestry.

The heart of our episode beats strong with a foray into the film, a story that boldly navigates the murky junction of family ties, environmental disaster, governmental tendrils, and moral ambiguity. Emily Hampshire’s stirring portrayal anchors the tale, with Canadian stars like Jay Baruchel and Enrico Colantoni adding layers to this complex narrative. Whether you’re a first-time viewer or a critique-hardened cinephile, the film’s emotional and thematic depth is sure to strike a chord, and we’re here to analyze every note.

As the credits roll on our cinematic discussion, we engage in the “ultimate” ratings guessing game, which you can play along with while listening. The conversation unfolds into a broader meditation on the personal journey of evaluating art, and the Cronenberg name becomes a lens through which we ponder the unpredictable alchemy of filmmaking success. Join us for a vibrant exploration of film, family, and the enduring question of what it means to make a mark in the shadow of giants.

Humane (2024)
directed by: Caitlin Cronenberg
starring: Jay Baruchel – Emily Hampshire – Sebastian Chacon – Alanna Bale
science fiction – horror – thriller
runtime: 93 min

Transcript (via Podium)
*not 100% accurate

00:05 – Nathan (Host)
Hi there, welcome back to the Real Film Chronicles podcast. As always, I’m Nathan and I’m Brian, and in this week’s very special episode we’re going to be talking about a little film called Humane, the latest film from the Cronenberg family by first-time director yeah, the Cronenberg family yeah, by first time director yeah, the Cronenberg dynasty, that’s right.

00:28 – Brian (Host)
I think it’s basically first time director of like feature film, at least Feature film debut of Caitlin Cronenberg, another child of the famous David Cronenberg and sibling of Brandon Cronenberg, who’s released three or four films. We’ve covered at least one of them. Was it last year or two years ago when he did Infinity Pool? Oh yeah.

00:53 – Nathan (Host)
Oh yeah, Last year yeah.

00:55 – Brian (Host)
And I mean I remember seeing Humane listed on Letterboxd somewhere and it’s like, oh, my goodness, is this another Cronenberg? I can’t wait. I was actually pretty excited. I don’t know if it got pushed back, maybe it did a festival circuit, but it went basically straight video on demand, I think, uh, this april, in in canada at least, and, um, give us a chance to, to check this out. The latest in the cronenberg uh psyche, um, what was your uh thoughts leading into this film here? Actually, I kind of forgot we, um, we have to give a spoiler warning right up front. Oh, yeah, in that we will not shy away from spoilers, uh, throughout the film. So if you haven’t seen the movie, definitely check it out. I’ve been come back or not, just listen on, you know, and yeah. So what was your thoughts?

01:53 – Nathan (Host)
Initial expectations leading into humane honestly, looking at the, I guess the pedigree and you know where, where Caitlin’s coming from and having David Cronenberg as her father, you know, putting discussions around nepotism aside, you know, having somebody like David Cronenberg kind of as a mentor, you know she would have access to her father for insight and input. I’ve been a huge fan of all of Brandon Cronenberg’s movies so far. I was really really stoked to see Caitlin, you know, to see that she had a feature film, you know, directorial debut, coming out. I was like, yeah, I was, I was totally stoked I see the name Cronenberg on something now.

02:50 – Brian (Host)
And yeah, my expectations are a little bit higher than probably they normally would have been for a first-time director, right, without a doubt. Like cronenberg is right up there, listen to our crimes of the future podcast episode or infinity pool episode. It’s kind of nice. We have a trifecta of at least one episode for from each of the cronenberg so far. Maybe there’ll be more. I actually didn’t do any research see if there’s any more siblings or maybe some of their kids.

03:05 – Nathan (Host)
Yeah, Soon it’ll be the grandkids coming up right. Also this year, david Cronenberg has another film coming out.

03:13 – Brian (Host)
That’s right.

03:14 – Nathan (Host)
Does Brandon have one coming out? Like that’d be amazing if all three of them had a film coming out the same year. That’d be kind of cool.

03:20 – Brian (Host)
It’s more exciting than like the MCU at its height releasing two or three movies a year.

03:25 – Nathan (Host)
It’s just how many Cronenberg films can we?

03:27 – Brian (Host)
get per year. Who knew? And it’s kind of funny. I mean there’s definitely some discussion about like nepotism in Hollywood, all the nepo babies getting their chance to, especially in acting and whatnot. I don’t know if you see it in directing as much, but it’s pretty hard to ignore it here and that the film plays in part has some commentary about nepotism in general that I thought was kind of fitting for a feature film debut from like such a famous uh director and maybe I just shouldn’t say famous because like we’re talking canadian famous here at least. He’s definitely had a lot of success in the states. But like how?

yeah especially the content of his movies. I want to say like probably all of them are r-rated movies and I think, to be fair, both of us weren’t really exposed to cronenberg, like david cronenberg’s films, until a bit later. You know when you’re, when you’re an adult.

04:21 – Nathan (Host)
It’s just like you’re not growing up with the cronenberg body horror stuff, uh, in your film journey, I guess yeah, it’s a, it’s a little fun, not as famous as say, like somebody like you think of canadian directors now and like denny villeneuve, obviously with the, you know, with dune and dune part two, and you know his, his recent filmography, so not the big blockbusters, but there is a niche, um, you know, if you, if you like, for me, david cronenberg and john carpenter go hand in hand. You know john carpenter is pretty famous in the us but he’s not like I don’t find he’s like super, super famous, right, like a couple of his movies are obviously like halloween. Everybody knows halloween, but your average moviegoer might not be able to tell you that it was a John John Carpenter film. Right?

05:09 – Brian (Host)
If it wasn’t for his name embedded into the title.

05:12 – Nathan (Host)
Yeah, Like for you, people like you and me, other like people like, um, you know, cinephiles out there, they pay attention to that. Most people probably wouldn’t right, to that, most people probably wouldn’t right, they don’t think of john carpenter’s halloween, I think of halloween. So the cronenberg name, yeah, the more famous probably in canada, more famous probably in you know, the kind of the smaller, that smaller kind of niche market of, like, you know, david cronenberg, you say body horror and for most people in the horror genre is like, yeah, david cronenberg is the first person on that list, right? So let’s say he’s very famous in a narrower kind of, with a narrower scope of audience. Well, I think it’s a fine, fine thing. I’m sure he’s, you know, I’m sure he’s happy that he’s, his movies found an audience because, um, there are some, you know, like there were never. A lot of them were never going to be like mainstream. You know mainstream movies and he, obviously he knew what he was doing, like they’re all like David Cronenberg is not an idiot and you know, obviously, like you said, caitlin Cronenberg is obviously self-aware enough to have part of her movies narrative be about these nepo babies in this family.

You know, obviously she’s going to be facing this crisis, rightly, so right you can. Two things can be true at once. One you can have an advantage based on who your parents were. Two you can also be incredibly talented in your own right. Two things can be true at the exact same time, and one doesn’t discount the other right.

So it’s a conversation you know, I brought up with Brandon. I think we both talked about this in Brandon Cronenberg’s work pool. I think it was last year. It’s like yeah, obviously I think nepotism plays a part in helping you get ahead. Can’t be denied. Also can’t be denied his movies have been amazing so far. So like there’s, there’s about there’s. It’s a it’s a nuanced conversation. I’m not saying that just because somebody is has a famous parent that they can’t or shouldn’t have work, saying we should acknowledge the bias in the system and I realize I’m totally out of my alphabet here talking about fame and you summed it up there, where it’s like we’re, we’re pretty far into it, we’re far into the niche, we’re into, we’re far into the hobby, especially yeah, uh, the cronenberg dynasty uh side of uh hollywood here.

07:21 – Brian (Host)
But I I just want to say like I love what especially david cronenberg in the 80s was doing for canadian cinema yeah like it’s kind of nice being able to go back and like appreciate that now and thinking, oh man, like I was just a kid in the 80s but like the stuff he was doing back then would have really been bringing uh, the industry to to a forefront back then.

07:45 – Nathan (Host)
It was neat and, just, you know, keeping things kind of Canadian, where all of his movies, up until I think A Dangerous Method, were all filmed in Canada. I think A Dangerous Method was the first one. He didn’t film everything in Canada. So really keeping that Canadian connection, even though it found a broader audience, maybe not as broad as some others, maybe not as broad as like, maybe Halloween, um and the slasher genre, but still right it was. It was kind of cool that there was always that little Canadian connection. It was always be talking about like the CBC or you could notice, you notice the Toronto skyline or Montreal, I think. I think uh, shivers was filmed in Montreal, I believe.

08:23 – Brian (Host)
Yeah, and just like uh, Denis Villeneuve bringing the movie Enemy back into drama, it’s like you could recognize certain landmarks of drama.

08:32 – Nathan (Host)
It’s always exciting, Meet me. And like you’re going to go meet in Mississauga, it’s like, yeah, I know that place.

08:40 – Brian (Host)
But um, behind the scenes here, this one um, uh humane is filmed in Hamilton, um, at a Raven’s cliff castle, which I didn’t really look into too much, I just saw the filming location. It is basically like a single location uh film and they definitely went all out and got a nice looking location that really, I think, fits the family and the characters well. It’s just like you get this sense they’re very well off, they’re very wealthy people, they’re successful people. This is a very fitting like area, like believable uh for, um, for for the setting of the film and the characters. But, um, yeah, that might be on the list for uh for us to check out on our eventual, you know, film location uh tour, uh, that we’ve never talked about before southern ontario.

09:35 – Nathan (Host)
Yeah, that reminds me. There’s a cool little. Uh, there was a series I don’t know if they’re still doing it on the scream factory releases specifically for, like, I remember a lot on the john carpenter movies and david cronenberg movies where this dude would just go around to the different spots where these movies were filmed. Sometimes it’s like 20 years later it’s like, yeah, this scene was filmed in on this street or this scene was filmed on this diner and it’s now like a pizza, pizza or something right. It’s like it’s really cool to be kind of cool to do that. Some like tours like that in real life very interesting.

10:08 – Brian (Host)
It’s very interesting concept for this movie um yeah, great I’d call it.

The hook is that in this reality, which I think is maybe a few years down the road the movie, uh, smartly plays it a bit ambiguous it could be five, ten, twenty years down the road. This world needs to shed 20 of its population, or at least the world governments have decided we gotta get rid of 20 of the world’s population here. And so even in this movie it’s not clear that it’s canada. It could be the us. It’s kind of ambiguous. They decide it’s just like they’re going to have a volunteer basis to get up to this 20%. What do they call it? Enlistment?

10:55 – Nathan (Host)
Yeah, there’s a vague environmental catastrophe. We know that UV rays. There’s something going on where they’re more potent.

11:04 – Brian (Host)
Oh, that’s right.

11:04 – Nathan (Host)
yes, it sounds like there’s environmental stuff going on where there’s not enough, on where they’re, they’re more, it’s more potent. Oh, that’s right. Yeah, it sounds like there’s. You know, the environmental stuff going on where there’s not enough resources to feed everybody and essentially is like okay, they come to the conclusion like we need to reduce our population globally by 20% and that the way that they’re gonna do that, at least in the Democratic nations, is by having some people volunteer for. So you enlist um, you get the payout turns out what? 250 K, yeah, and they, they send people into, euthanize you if you enlist Um. Although there was like a, there was like a little kind of a tongue in cheek joke where, where Russia was like, they announced that they were three months ahead of their targets.

11:38 – Brian (Host)
They hit. They hit the target three months ahead. Had is like it’s like yeah, they were, they were not asking for volunteers. Essentially is what was implied. That’s pretty brutal. I mean, when you start, when you step back and think about you know what, what would happen in that situation like there’s I’m sure there’s many, many hours of, uh, deep diving on the internet and discussions with people and stuff you you can really go into here and this movie, I think, was I kind of thought it was just going to be single location family dinner with like.

Was it like six or seven people kind of discussing the issue and maybe that you know they have to call like you know 20 of their family or something. It’s just like, what are they going to do here? It turned out a little bit differently, in true Cronenberg fashion, I think, which, oddly enough, if I know, there’s going to be body horror in Cronenberg. I wasn’t sure this is Caitlin’s first outing if they were going to like. You know she wasn’t going to go down that road. But there were a few real gnarly scenes that I’m glad got worked in there, like the the hot spoon scene. That was definitely a highlight that I’m going to remember for for a long time. But, um, what a crazy concept that I love. That’s, the family is in a position that it is in, where you have uh, jay bershaw’s uh character who’s kind of like this, uh like, uh news pundit or something like he’s I don’t even know if he’s an expert or something.

13:09 – Nathan (Host)
He’s like yeah, he’s an anthropologist and he’s an expert that’s working. He’s like one of the experts that’s working with the current government, so he’s not part of government, but he’s an anthropologist, a scientist, specifically working for the current government yeah, and I like that.

13:24 – Brian (Host)
He wasn’t a government worker, but he was working with the government just enough that he may or may not know what he’s talking about. When they’re talking about like spoiler alert, they have to decide which one of them to kill amongst the siblings. There’s four of them and they basically have to decide to sacrifice somebody amongst the siblings. There’s four of them and they basically have to decide to sacrifice somebody. And he’s he speaks with some authority, but there’s still a question of like does he actually know? Would the government fully tell him all?

13:52 – Nathan (Host)
the details he’s. He’s definitely got the inside track on some of the things they’re doing, but he’s not part of the government inner circle, right so he does he does have some insider knowledge, but it’s not total inner circle insider knowledge right um the cast of characters here. You recognize obviously bear shell, who is another canadian icon, this time in front of the camera yeah um emily hampshire who I was trying to place her and I was looking up her filmography.

It turns out this was years ago. She was in a bunch of episodes of are you afraid of the dark as a kid Okay, and I love that show. Growing up as a kid. I don’t know if I could pick her out of a lineup Like cause. I think she’s. She’s our age. I think I was looking it up.

14:41 – Brian (Host)
And she was in the very popular show Schitt’s Creek. Yes, for six seasons. Really really good there. Sebastian Chacon I’m pronouncing that wrong, I’m sure Did better than I could have. Did not recognize him from anything. I recognize some of the shows that he’s in, or not shows movies, daisy Jones and the Six, for instance. Last year Alanna Bale sort of plays another sibling, uh, like the aspiring actress one and um, who’s the father there? Peter gallagher, who I just remember from the oc way back I was gonna say, yeah, the oc.

15:18 – Nathan (Host)
and then you have, uh, enrico calentoni, another famous canadian actor, who he plays bob in this one. But you probably recognize him. I think he got a little bit more appeal. He was in a few things outside of Canada but in Canada he’s been in a number of Canadian productions, super recognizable, and I was looking at the cast Tara Spencer-Nairn was in this.

15:40 – Brian (Host)
I saw that and I didn’t remember from the movie. I don’t know where she was who was enid?

15:46 – Nathan (Host)
was that one of the officers there? Maybe that had the uh, because they had the gear on them and everything very possibly yeah because I was like tara spencer nair and I wouldn’t know she like she was in corner gas, which is like like a well-known canadian comedy, but Corner Gas Station, small town, saskatchewan. I was like, yeah, if she had been more prominent I definitely would have picked her out, or we definitely would have picked her out. So it must’ve been like a small role or a face, but it must’ve been covered or something.

16:19 – Brian (Host)
How’d you feel about the film overall? Just to get an overall sense, you watched it 10 minutes after you finished watching it, like what? What are you feeling about this movie?

16:30 – Nathan (Host)
what am I feeling? Don’t think, feel okay. Thanks, maverick. Um, I’m just shaking my head.

16:39 – Brian (Host)
I don’t know what you’re talking about over there. Are you talking about? Is that a top Gun reference or something?

16:44 – Nathan (Host)
Yeah, it was Okay. No, I thought overall, like I was trying to go in, like I said you know, it’s the daughter of David Cronenberg trying to modulate expectations, I thought this was a really solid movie, really solid directorial debut. It was a really interesting, intriguing premise and I was, you know, the whole time. I was like it’s one of those premises like yeah, of course it’s rich, it’s like inherent conflict, inherent drama, it’s pretty cool. It fell a little bit flat for me. Um, let’s just say I I really liked it, didn’t love it, but it did get me. It was one of those movies you’re thinking afterwards but I happen to. Also, I have three siblings um, so similar to the movie so I couldn’t help.

Of course, you know, think about what would happen to like family of six get together, family drama, but you amp it up by like, okay, one of you has to die.

17:44 – Brian (Host)
It was like I was playing my mind two hours to decide who dies.

17:49 – Nathan (Host)
I was like thinking like, how would this play out with my own family? It was like that’s the road you don’t want to go down necessarily too far, but a really cool concept. Execution was solid, not stellar. Overall, I enjoyed it. Overall, I was pleasantly entertained for whatever it was an hour and a half or an hour 40. How about you, brian? What were your first impressions after watching this thing?

18:17 – Brian (Host)
hour 40 how about you, brian? What was your first impressions after watching this thing? Uh, first impressions after watching it. The movie ended on a real sour note. For me, it was the fake commercial thing at the end, where it’s just like it felt so weird, like it felt out of place to me even though there were.

you know I’m using like fake in quotation here is just like there’s a certain bit of propaganda on the news and whatnot, and we understand that, like this organization, that the government has outsourced the euthanasia procedures to docs, department of Citizen Strategy.

18:56 – Nathan (Host)
Yeah, super Orwellian terminology here was great I love, yeah, I love that.

19:00 – Brian (Host)
I love that. Stuff like that detail is great, but it’s like the movie. The final shot is one of those and I’m like I would have preferred the final shot to be that slow pan through the family members that survived, uh, at the concert I was thinking the exact same thing.

19:16 – Nathan (Host)
You didn’t need to spell it out. You chop it off right at the end of that scene. It was one scene too long, right, I think yeah 100 like that.

Yeah, it did kind of leave us. I understand why, but I think that that’s, I think that’s the sign of, you know, a more seasoned director would have trusted their audience to connect those dots themselves. And you know, I think I would chalk that up to being like first time director kind of deal. Um, you know, I would expect her to like as she get, as she progresses, and I really hope I see more movies from her. Yeah, right, because I did enjoy this one, just like as you build that confidence as a filmmaker and build that confidence in your audience you, you you’ll get a better, better rhythm and you won’t feel the need to kind of over explain or you know something like that I did.

I did like the idea that the family, despite everything, that they weren’t sadistic like Bob, turned out to be that they were like, okay, we could have killed them, but we didn’t. It’s like okay, the family for all their awfulness, and it was like it was interesting seeing how awful each of the family members were, and they were pretty awful in general. Um, even even poor noah um, who everybody ganged up on early on, um, he wasn’t, he wasn’t blamed. I felt bad for him, but he also wasn’t blameless. He killed a woman by driving impaired there, right, so, so, um, but like, yeah, it’s like okay, we, they learned a lesson, they rose above Jay Baruchel, reconnected with his son who was alienated from him, and whatnot. It was like, yeah, like that last scene, yeah, a hundred percent. It felt a little bit too like trying troopers thing, but this was no starship troopers, like, let’s be honest I didn’t think we’d bring it up starship troopers in in the humane uh review, that’s uh I mean you come on, you didn’t think about that at all.

You got the propaganda videos. Yeah, it’s a really good point.

21:09 – Brian (Host)
You’re absolutely spot on. It was just uh it, um, it was, and that propaganda video like that had little ad. I almost feel like maybe we should have rolled a bit of credits and then aired that like I think it would have like set better with me.

21:26 – Nathan (Host)
That’s a. That’s a. That’s a mid-credit scene.

21:28 – Brian (Host)
That’s not a part of the main movie, I think yeah, and I think, um, you’re talking about like all the family members and like how kind of detestable they are. It’s just like I think that’s one of the common criticisms, and I definitely felt that is that the characters didn’t really feel completely fleshed out. Um, it’s like too much stuff was coming to light, like throughout, where it just didn’t feel quite deserved. I’m not sure if that’s just kind of like a runtime thing, a scripting thing, but it was like no, I I don’t like that.

22:00 – Nathan (Host)
There was like some ambiguity in the character’s backgrounds, like partially they felt a little bit kind of like stereotype, like jay baruchel’s character of like this. You know, he’s obviously kind of racist and bigoted and it’s like the whole idea is like other people should suck, other families should sacrifice, but I don’t want my family to sacrifice, kind of the hypocrisy, um, you know, and then well, he was perhaps the most fleshed out one because he had quite a bit of extra screen time, especially when they’re showing like the news reports and stuff, and showing him on tv, yeah yeah, but I like the ambiguity and they would kind of slowly throughout the film you would find out a little bit more about each of them, so like, and I thought the characters were fleshed out enough for me.

But I what I thought was a little bit lacking was they’re put in this scenario, um, where you know the mother and the father signed up to be, they enlisted to be euthanized. Mother gets cold feet and runs out and then bob the sadistic docs um worker there, um, he, he’t have, turns out he didn’t have to. He said he said he needed to bring two cadavers because there’s two cadavers in the contract, two bodies essentially, turns out he didn’t have to, he was just being a dick and he hated. He was working class guy getting revenge against privileged people. But that the whole scene where they’re like they all instantly, almost instantly, gang up on noah, I was like I thought there’s gonna be a bit more back and forth, shifting alliances of people, but it seemed like they really quickly ganged up on, like that, the adopted brother, um noah. I was like that happened, I think, a bit too quick.

I was expecting more of the family drama kind of thing coming to light. It’s like, oh, these two are aligned against these two and then it’s like, no, then they then something finds out and then like, oh, everyone’s lied against this person and then they find out something about this and then they switch around, almost like, uh, do you remember? Uh, bodies, bodies, bodies, yep right, almost kind of like that it brought to mind. I just thought about that now. But it’s like the constant shifting of alliances, like, oh, this person killed him. No, this person killed him.

It’s like, oh, then something comes up on some video or something comes to light and they shift alliances. I was expecting maybe it’s because I was expecting that, but I thought it was just a little bit too simplistic how, especially with the youngest daughter and the um son, who were like the youngest two kids they were, they saw them being like super tight and everything and she turns on them so quick. I’m just like I don’t know, although there was more interesting stuff you could have done with that family, family dynamic, right yeah, that’s a good.

24:30 – Brian (Host)
I didn’t think about bodies, bodies, bodies, but it’s like there’s. There’s a movie that gets a lot done with a lot of characters very quickly, movie that gets a lot done with a lot of characters very quickly and effectively. I think here it’s like they have less characters, but you’re right, they do turn very quickly on each other, which I guess is maybe like showing you how awful they were to begin with, maybe, but yeah, they were all they were all like to some degree a little bit racist there and a little bit like elitist, because like, oh, he was the adopted brother, so he’s somehow lesser or he’s he was.

25:03 – Nathan (Host)
Obviously he was the only one who was a different ethnicity and they turn on him right away. But also Noah, I don’t know. It was really weird. Like he was shown walking around with a cane because he had that accident, like there was like a year before where he killed that woman and he was. He was in, you know, um, I think, narcotics anonymous and he’d found, uh, you know, a girlfriend through a narcotics anonymous. They met at narcotics anonymous, um. But yeah, like he seemed to have superpowers because he was fighting off three grown adults and throwing them around the room with seemingly little trouble. Um, I don’t know, it’s like one second he’s walking around with a cane and the next he’s like throwing people across the room.

25:38 – Brian (Host)
I don’t know there’s some I, I did see it and actually, a review that called out the quote-unquote fight choreography because it’s just like as soon as I read that, I’m like there was, there was a fighting fighting. But you’re right, that did feel weird in the movie. It’s like it wasn’t fully like flesh not fleshed out. It wasn’t like fully realized in the film, like it didn’t feel good, like somebody’s sort of walking towards another person about to attack them and they just get clobbered immediately. I’m just like what. It didn’t feel I don’t know. Some of that stuff didn’t feel earned, I guess I don’t know yeah, the setup, setup and payoff.

26:14 – Nathan (Host)
There were a couple. There were a couple good moments, like when jay baruchel’s character was talking about how I was like, oh, I don’t, I don’t see color, and it’s like this isn’t about race, it’s about, like, equity and everything. It’s like I’m an ally as he’s going to kill, to kill the dude. It was pretty. It was on the nose a little bit, but it was still super, super funny given the context. There were moments like that. That kind of worked, um, but yeah, some of the stuff just didn’t like. You established a guy who’s walking around with a cane and he’s you know, uh, you know, recovering from an accident, recovering from narcotics, but then he’s like superhuman strength and then when, like, the lights go out and he’s like stalking them in the darkness, I’m just like, okay, so now he’s like a super stalker.

26:53 – Brian (Host)
I don’t know it was a weird puzzle pieces just didn’t really fit together properly for me. I saw the whole picture but I was like they some. They were a little jagged around the edges, if I could use that analogy there.

27:05 – Nathan (Host)
Yeah, yeah, a hundred, a hundred percent, I think. I knew. I think, like Caitlin, I think, was she the writer on this as well, I think. So I think she knew where she wanted to go with the story and maybe sometimes it was kind of a little bit of kind of shoehorning the characters where she wanted them to go as opposed to where the characters would have naturally taken them right. And again, I think that just comes with, you know, experience and practice and writing, like I said, like the movie. So I’m not saying it was a terrible movie. These are, you know, um, you know places where it could have been improved. But, like, overall, I really did like the movie. It just wasn’t didn’t feel as polished or as elevated, and maybe that has something to do with my expectations as well, going into it with the cronenberg name attached.

27:49 – Brian (Host)
So maybe part of part, maybe part of it’s on perception as well, right, well, we uh, we’ve talked before about like efficient filmmaking and like a cronenberg film is 90 minutes and like every second is so lean and polished or effective. I should say that having one that isn’t quite like that almost feels a bit like off. Um, I wanted to mention, uh, emily’s character there, the uh, the mother. Um, I really I really enjoyed her like turnaround on it, because you kind of think, all right, she’s the mother, she’s the caring person, she’s going to like mediate this whole thing, but she’s one of the first ones to jump in. I should say they all kind of jump in at the same time really. But she had a uh, a short speech in there where she’s talking about how truly they don’t really know each other. They see each other like two or three times a year. They talk only two or three times a year and I think for a lot of families that is so relevant and that speaks to me. I think it speaks to a lot of people.

28:50 – Nathan (Host)
It’s just like the folks, that whole line. That hit really hard. Actually, I was like yeah, yeah, like that’s that. I was like yeah, like that’s that. I was like, okay, after that I was like I’m gonna make an effort to call my family now yeah, that, that hit home.

29:03 – Brian (Host)
That hit home, for sure, you never know when you’re gonna be put into a family reunion event. Someone locks all the doors and be like someone’s coming out dead and you’re like, oh geez, I should have made more phone calls, but I that one that stuck with me for for oh yeah, hasn’t been a full week since watching this, but uh, that one stuck with me it was a pretty.

29:23 – Nathan (Host)
It was a pretty cynical insight, but a pretty poignant one. There’s also an accurate one as well, so yeah and it’s that kind of commentary upon commentary.

29:30 – Brian (Host)
It’s just like man, this movie is loaded with those ideas. It’s like what? And that’s what really works for me for the movie is we’ve got a really high concept, like you know amazing for the movie, and then all these extra layers of commentary and you’re talking about. Some of them might be too on the nose and I agree so that class and race and privilege.

29:49 – Nathan (Host)
It’s, it’s all.

There’s so many great it was just all so relevant yeah, and then the political context of it was all like I feel this move, where this movie really excelled was those ideas in the world building. I was like I wanted to know more about what was going on in the social political context. What was the nature of this and some of that. There’s like multiple intersecting environmental issues where like get the extra you know extra strong UV rays, so something’s wrong with the Earth’s atmosphere. And then you got like, ok, obviously it’s an issue with the resources because you gotta cut the population by 20. So I was like, yeah, there’s like so many great ideas and someone you know like you know like having having that adopted child in there to change up those family dynamics. Um, you know, you know, talking about the family, talking about and having that adopted brother be of a different ethnicity, so you can talk about those racial issues and have that in there. You know this is an affluent family. So you’re talking about the idea of privilege and you know privilege as it relates specifically to you know, these emergency situations where like, yeah, rich people are not getting treated the same as poor people. Like you have enough money, you can kind of shield yourself from some of the the horrors of what’s going on, amazing.

That’s where the movie excel was really like introducing these ideas, um, and then like really I think the weaker parts were the execution of the, the family dynamics and the execution of like making some some of the commentary on some of these ideas didn’t really feel fully fleshed out, or maybe maybe there was too much going on. Maybe focus on one of those things, like focus on either the racism or focus on the affluence, or focus, I don’t know pick one of those things and dive a little bit deeper. It felt like maybe there was like maybe it was too ambitious where you take they were trying to take on too much, right where cronenberg was trying to like deal with all these different issues, and maybe it would have been helpful to like just like focus a little bit more in the narrative.

31:46 – Brian (Host)
I don’t know I think they have the the daughter character who, uh is sort of like exempt from the rules of uh being locked in the house. So she’s in like this rv with our docs worker who really, after watching, is like, oh, they really needed her, like the the daughter, to be like exiled, to really give us a lot more insight into how sadistic this guy is and like really pull the whole plot together at the at the end of just like, oh, he doesn’t actually have to go through with this stuff, especially, I think an hour in he gets a phone call saying they found the mothers. So it’s just like, oh, they can actually just proceed with that or have her sign the form, because you could still pull out and and I think that’s why it was kind of difficult to piece together at the end where it’s just like well, these, those families still, I think, murdered one of the, the docks workers, like uh the one, the one who shot um noah’s girlfriend there who showed up.

32:46 – Nathan (Host)
He was finally able to get a message out because they had some kind of dampening field star trek style.

32:52 – Brian (Host)
You know communications well, they have those in real life, right?

32:56 – Nathan (Host)
yeah, the cell phone scramblers, yeah but apparently, if you just like, if you throw it, you can get out, you can get past the range. So she shows up and then, um, it was not, I don’t think it was an accident that you know the character was played by a black woman who you know she was running away to get help at one point and she was shot immediately. I mean that, given, you know, today’s political and social climates, the black lives matter, movements, um, you know all the rash of of police murders, of of, uh, black people in the, in the states that was, there was a, there was a deliberate choice to have a black woman fleeing from authority figure being shot in the back, you know, summarily executed.

33:39 – Brian (Host)
Yeah, and the guy says deal with her and, like the, the lackey just shoots her dead. And even after that he’s just like well, I didn’t mean like killer, but it’s done, so it doesn’t matter, right, it’s just like they literally don’t care.

33:54 – Nathan (Host)
Going back to the context, that’s the person they, that the family does, kill because they take the euthanasia, one of the euthanasia. Once, at the end of the movie, once they get the upper hand on these docs workers, once they put aside their differences, which, like from the very beginning, I was like if you guys, like I thought, like turn into like a home alone situation, right, it’s like, yeah, get them back in the house and like if you band together, you can probably, you know, fight these guys off. They eventually do this get them back in the house, get the upper hand and then they use one of the euthanasia kits on that, that one guard who shot the girlfriend in the back. But they said it was like, oh yeah, we got some air accidentally in the tube. We didn’t know how all the medical stuff works and they died of an embolism. It was super slow and painful. Um, so they did murder one person, but they didn’t murder bob. So I guess I have to retract my earlier statement about them learning their lesson.

34:42 – Brian (Host)
They just, uh, they murder when it’s uh convenient for them, I guess and they still technically murdered the, the, the younger sister, um who, who was gone at the end of the of right.

34:56 – Nathan (Host)
Yeah, she did.

34:57 – Brian (Host)
It’s still a tragic end to it, and an end that. Bob still succeeded in having one of them die, and she did die from the wound she got from her family members, but it’s like at least the mother is around now, I guess, yeah that’s another thing.

35:15 – Nathan (Host)
There was a thread that was dropped where it was like, yeah, bob was technically successful in his sadistic plan and nobody makes comment about it afterwards. Um, but it was, it was nice to see because, like when she got stabbed in the guts and they go to like they take the that scene you’re talking about, where they heat up the spoon to cauterize and cauterize the wound and they pull it away and starts bleeding it’s. It’s like I got to go in again and they do it twice.

I was like, is this going to be one of those stupid movie trope things where they cauterize the wound and all the internal bleeding doesn’t matter? And no, actually she does that Cause she was stabbed in the gut. She actually did die. I was like, okay, thank you. But at you that at least there was like a semblance of quote. Unquote realism was like, yeah, if you get stabbed in the gut and you’re bleeding, and she was like coughing up blood, so it’s like, yeah, like you’re not, you’re not just gonna like you don’t just cauterize the outer wound and you’re fine from that. And they and she wasn’t. So I was. I wasn’t glad to see a character die, and I’m not reveling in other human beings death, even though she was a runner-up, you know, second place, second rate actor, actress, but uh, in the character not the actor, yeah, not the actual actress in the character’s.

36:22 – Brian (Host)
You know career but yeah, she was a nice realistic depiction of like these characters don’t actually know how to heal each other like the guy yeah like he’s an anthropologist. He doesn’t know how to heal stab wounds and and the hot spoon cauterizing a wound is not going to uh, I did actually like that.

36:41 – Nathan (Host)
It’s like, yeah, of course you’re going to die from. You know it’s an untreated internal stab, internal injury caused by stabbing. It’s like, yeah, you’re toast, you don’t get immediate medical attention, right? Yeah, they inflict on each other are pretty, pretty gnarly. Yeah, it wasn’t.

37:01 – Brian (Host)
Uh wasn’t as gnarly as her father, her brother would do no, but we’re working our way towards that what I’m saying is that she doesn’t have to feel that pressure to do that right it felt like almost like.

37:11 – Nathan (Host)
That’s why I was like okay, just because you’re a cronenberg doesn’t mean you have to have the bodily horror in the. You can go a different direction, right. So I don’t know if she’s doing that because she feels she needs to, or just because you’re a Cronenberg doesn’t mean you have to have the bodily horror and the. You can go a different direction, right. So I don’t know if she’s doing that because she feels she needs to or just because she likes the aesthetic, I don’t know.

37:24 – Brian (Host)
I could just imagine growing up Cronenberg and just like what is going on. Where are they talking about? Like the kids being exposed to so much of the behind the scenes stuff? Uh, especially like peak Cronenberg body horror in the eighties. I can only imagine like it. Just it just becomes part of you and I was glad to see a bit of it here. But it felt contextually correct If I could say that it did seem to go too far for what the movie was.

37:50 – Nathan (Host)
Yeah, it wasn’t. It wasn’t over the top, and that’s completely. I’m be happy if she doesn’t go down the route of extreme violence or body horror, if she finds her own voice, or if her voice ends up being body horror and extreme violence, that’s fine too, whatever it ends up being, as long as it’s her voice Again, I think seeing this movie, you’re seeing a filmmaker figuring out what their voice actually is and what their filmmaking style is, so it’s really interesting. I’m really looking forward to you know what she does next.

38:22 – Brian (Host)
A hundred percent, yeah, every year we should get a new Cronenberg film. It’s great, it’s yeah. Yeah, I’m excited for it, I am. I think there’s a display of talent here that is promising that. I’m excited for the next one to come out and see where she goes from here. What else um worked for you before we get into our ratings, I guess. What else do you want to talk about, um? Did you get? I saw one review?

38:50 – Nathan (Host)
uh, knock at the cabin, vibes um, now that you say it, I guess the idea of the family having to sacrifice. Not really I didn’t think of Knock at the Cabin. What I did think of was the haunting of Hill House. Actually I was thinking like that.

For me what stuck was like the family drama. Yeah Right, and as you kind of unraveled that to see it’s, oh yeah, the father was, you know, a journalist who was kind of married to his job. It wasn’t there for his kids. You see the kids react surprised when he welcomes Noah back and gives him a hug, he wants to see his girlfriend picture of his girlfriend and people like the, the, the older siblings, look at each other. You know it was interesting to see like the divide as well between the older and the younger siblings and how they kind of had, you know, they had for those of us who have, like our older or younger siblings, you know, like that that relationship does, there is, there are some family dynamics right With between the older siblings and younger siblings and the parents. You know, as parents you know they learn and grow over time. So like they made all their mistakes on me, on the oldest child, and they got better with the younger kids.

So like I’m the screwed up one, no, but it was interesting because, like, I’ve seen some of that too where, like you draw those divide, like sometimes my sister, um, is, you know, the next oldest, and sometimes we have there’s a dynamic between us, um, and then a different dynamic between me and my youngest brother, right. So it’s interesting to see those see that play out and that that, to me, was really the most engaging stuff was to see those. You know, the one sibling says something stupid and their other three are like ah yeah, and then. But then another time another sibling says something and the other three kind of like, oh yeah, that’s the stupid thing.

It’s like those kind of shifting, shifting allegiances or the or the, the shifting dynamics between the family members. And that’s why, you know, when I said up front about, you know I expected this to be, or I was anticipating more like the family members, and that’s why you know, when I said upfront about, you know I expected this to be, or I was anticipating more like the family drama where they’re sitting down having that discussion about maybe, maybe more, not maybe more, knock at the cabin style, where they’re having those philosophical discussions about what this is what this all means, and and who should, who should sacrifice themselves and who shouldn’t like as much as like yeah maybe like a two, maybe like a a two hour long conversation about the ethics of, of everything going on would have been the way to go.

41:04 – Brian (Host)
I don’t know.

41:04 – Nathan (Host)
Maybe, maybe that’s my film and maybe that’s why I’m not a filmmaker and I don’t get funding for my ideas.

41:13 – Brian (Host)
And, uh, it’s funny you mentioned uh a Mike Flanagan uh Netflix property, cause I got uh a sense of the fall of the house of usher uh while watching this um, which, yeah is is more along the lines of you know, the rich, privileged family that’s uh is actually composed of all just really awful people who have done awful things to to one another, and I guess the succession fits then too, yeah, yeah, but I think, yeah, I think the family drama is what, like if they had played that up a little bit more and that’d been more of the focus.

41:47 – Nathan (Host)
I mean it was, it was a focus, but I feel like it was just, I don’t know, it was.

Maybe if they play that up a little bit more and really zoned in on that and a couple, a couple of things that they brought up about some of the siblings, that there’s some really interesting dramatic space to play in, right and the ethics of like, oh, who should live or who should die, like who’s the worst person, or like.

I love the whole idea of the movie is like, yeah, no matter how bad these people were, at the end is like. My thought was like nobody deserves to die, right, even though these people were terrible, um, yeah, they don’t, just, they don’t deserve to be put in the situation, right. So I think there was like I think that was a really positive of the positive aspect of the movie where caitlin cronenberg created these awful characters but then forced us to sympathize with them, or at least empathize with them, by putting us in. That’s by like putting this, this terrible situation that nobody wants to be in, and like, okay, they are privileged, they’re spoiled, they’re, you know, doing these awful things, but like they don’t deserve to die or be pitted against each other. And you know so it was like like that that was the more interesting space to play in, rather than the, you know, sadistic person.

42:59 – Brian (Host)
I don’t know. So I guess we could probably start talking about our ratings of the film if we could, unless you have anything else to add before we jump into that.

43:09 – Nathan (Host)
No, the defense rests your Honor.

43:14 – Brian (Host)
Typically we’ve talked about general ratings like Rotten Tomato, IMDb After, but I think we’ve moved to hemmingville’s before our actual ratings to really leave you in suspense, you, the listener. You could also play along here. I don’t know. I don’t think nathan’s looked this movie up online.

43:32 – Nathan (Host)
I never do. This is brian’s kind of thing, yeah um, I’ve compiled four numbers. Took me all morning to get all this stuff together, the ron tomato scientist.

43:44 – Brian (Host)
Yeah, four days to compile this ron tomato critic rating they use, you know, zero to 100. What do you think the ron tomato critic rating on humane is?

43:57 – Nathan (Host)
I’ll take a chance and go higher.

43:58 – Brian (Host)
I’m gonna say 82, 82 is pretty high, so it’s at 69 percent right now oh wow, I was thinking.

44:06 – Nathan (Host)
My initial guess was gonna be 72, we’re stuck with that.

44:09 – Brian (Host)
Yeah, always go with your first instinct, I guess. So. So what do you think the audience round tomato uh rating is or consensus audience?

44:19 – Nathan (Host)
Um, I’m going to go with my guts. This was uh. The Cronenbergs tend to be more niche, so I’m going to say like, uh, I don’t know, 55, 55 too high.

44:30 – Brian (Host)
Again you’re at 38% Ron tomato audience. What?

44:37 – Nathan (Host)
That one, uh, that one kind of boggles me.

44:39 – Brian (Host)
The IMDB. Uh what? That one kind of boggles me. The IMDb user system uses a 10-point scale. What do you think? The IMDb rating of this movie is 6.8. Just a bit too high. It’s 5.3 right now. 5.3, huh. And finally Letterboxd, which uses the five-star system. What’s its average user rating?

45:05 – Nathan (Host)

45:08 – Brian (Host)
You’re pretty close. Actually it’s 2.8. Oh, okay, so it’s there you go. You know your Letterboxd users, but I’m interested in hearing what your rating is of this movie. And yeah, we do use the same rating system as letterboxd, so five star with a possible like bonus on top of it. Um, where’d you land on on humane?

45:35 – Nathan (Host)
I gave it a three and a half out of five. Like I said, like I think we were, I was nitpicking some things throughout the episode, but overall, like first time, first, you know, feature length directorial debut, this was a really good, solid effort. There’s a lot of, like I said, I love the world building of it, I love the you know, the family dynamic. And then where it came out, like the plot kind of unraveled a little bit as it went along and, like you said, like it could have been, you know, like ended a scene earlier, didn’t didn’t need the extra propaganda scene at the end. Um, you know little minor things here and there that you know my mind is like, okay, this is the mark of a first time director who’s finding your voice, finding your footing. But honestly, if I were directing and this was my first, my debut I’d be super pumped man. Like three out of five I mean 3.5 out of five to me, like that’s a, really that’s better than average, like that’s a good movie right like yeah I I enjoyed it.

For all the, for all the little nitpicking I did, I enjoyed the film. I came away thinking, yeah, I want to see more from the Cronenberg no 3 here. Yeah, what’s your final rating on this?

46:50 – Brian (Host)
I rated the movie at three stars. Okay, and I do feel kind of bad because, like you said, it’s like a lot of what I walked away with, did feel a little nitpicky.

46:59 – Nathan (Host)
Like I was impressed.

47:01 – Brian (Host)
I mean for a feature film, debut, like there’s a lot of talent on here, the acting seemed to be good, there’s a lot of I mean, the concept itself was just stellar. I walked away with a lot of, you know, thinking about this 20% situation, but also some of the stuff the characters said, which doesn’t always necessarily happen in movies. Sometimes it’s just end, credits roll and then I’m just done with it. But it’s nice that something stayed with me.

But I think what I was talking about the puzzle pieces, like the whole picture just didn’t come together for me, like it didn’t fit perfectly, but I could see the whole image for what it was, the whole movie for what it was, the whole movie for what it was, and I, I, I quite enjoyed it. And I think on future rewatches this is going to go up I’m hoping to sort of pick up on a little more uh like character detail and uh little the little bits of like the world building that I think they do, but they throw in there, especially like in the background they’re watching a newscast. You’re gonna pay attention to some of that stuff a little more. On rewatches, it’s like I, I kind of I look forward to seeing that. Um, so I could see this climbing in the future. I almost feel kind of bad at three stars, but right afterwards, honestly, when the last scene was that propaganda commercial, I was like kind of soured on it immediately. It’s just like, oh man what a bummer, I thought.

48:21 – Nathan (Host)
I thought for sure it was like great ending. They cut after that that scene where they were at the piano recital. There noah was playing the piano, so he’s obviously, you know, back on the on the piano wagon, off the narcotics wagon, on the piano wagon. I was like this is perfect. It’s like, yeah, perfect way to end it. Cut it black is like okay, perfect way to end it. Cut it Black is like okay, perfect way to end it. Now that scene came up. It’s like yeah, exactly what you said. It’s like yeah, right, yeah.

48:47 – Brian (Host)
And one final thing that we do neglect to talk about Are you going to buy this on physical media? Are you going to buy the Blu-ray, the 4K, whatever format this thing comes out on and hopefully it does come out on some format?

49:02 – Nathan (Host)
yeah, well, I guess the right question is are we, am I going to prioritize this, because I tend to buy a lot of things on physical media. So that’s, that’s a new point. The idea is, I think the real question is will I prioritize this over other purchases? And 100?

Yes, this is, you know, for all it’s, for all the, the flaws, it’s a really unique concept, really, um, you know, important concept, given where we are, the state of the state of our world, in the state of, you know, the climate crisis that we are going to be facing, or like it’s not theoretical anymore. We’re at the point now where we’ve we’re going to be coming to a head and having to face these crises. So to have a movie that speaks to that, you know, at this time you know I was, you know it got me thinking, it got me more aware um, you know, well-made movie by part of a canadian dynasty, the chrono, and specifically the Cronenberg dynasty, and it’s like you know what? And it’s like, yeah, I’ll support Canadian film. It’s a really cool, unique little movie. So, yeah, I’m going to prioritize this when it comes out. How about you, brian?

50:09 – Brian (Host)
Without a doubt, if I get a release date, I’m heading to my local shops on day of release to make sure that I can grab a copy, cause it’s it’s going to be one of those things where it’s probably like a low print run. It’ll be around for a couple of days in stores and then possibly disappear and I hope I hope it sees a decent release. Um, I think it deserves a spot on the shelf for the inevitable uh Cronenberg dynasty shrine, uh section of the Blu-ray collection. Yeah.

50:41 – Nathan (Host)
This feels like one of those movies like uh uh, the night house or synchronic, where it’s like I see this pop up. It’s gonna pop up at walmart for probably a couple weeks and then disappear yeah forever. And like I’m gonna, you know, I’m gonna make an effort to pick this up to you know, lend, like, like, do my small parts. Um, you know, to pull another starship troopers reference, I’m doing my parts. That’s absolutely perfect.

51:06 – Brian (Host)
I wasn’t sure if you were consciously putting that together or not.

51:11 – Nathan (Host)
I work in Starship Troopers into at least one conversation a day.

51:17 – Brian (Host)
Absolutely incredible. Anything else before we officially wrap it?

51:22 – Nathan (Host)
no, I think that’s good. So yeah, if you haven’t already check out Humane, whether you’re Canadian or not, but if you are Canadian, support your fellow Canadian filmmakers. Take a step outside your comfort zone. If this kind of horror film isn’t really, I don’t know if it’s been classified as a horror film, horror thriller kind of film um, you know, I think it’s a. It’s a. It’s a neat little entry into the, into the genre or subgenre, and it’s a any. From my point of view right now, pretty much you can’t go wrong with any cronenberg film. If you want to start getting into the Cronenberg family filmography, humane is as good a place to start as any.

52:08 – Brian (Host)
So, like, get out there, get to know your Cronenbergs. As always, we appreciate you hanging out with us today and taking the time to listen to our podcast. You can find us online over at realfilmchroniclescom, where we have not just a repository of podcast episodes, but many of our written reviews as well. If you’re up to it, you can follow us on Twitter, facebook or Instagram as well. All the links should be within the show notes here. So until next time, take care of yourself and others and be sure to enjoy your film journey.

52:59 – Nathan (Host)
Thank you.