KSL MOVIE SHOW

KSL Movie Show review: ‘Humane’ is smart, and just horrifying enough

Apr 26, 2024, 4:00 PM

ksl movie show host steve salles stands next to humane movie poster...

"Humane" presents the idea that the world is facing serious issues and the only solution the world’s scientists and governments can come up with is to reduce the human population by 20%.

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — I’ve seen a lot of futuristic dystopian movies in my day, but I think this one is going to stick with me for quite a while. 

Regardless of what you believe about the state of our environment, this one presents the idea that the world is facing serious issues and the only solution the world’s scientists and governments can come up with is a need to reduce the human population by 20%.

So the nations of the world get together and agree on an accord that each country will contribute 20% of its population to be euthanized voluntarily. The United States is behind on its quota, just below 10% and needs to step it up. 

Kids are exempt, but those in their twilight years can “enlist” to be euthanized as humanely as possible.

They’re first given a sedative to fall asleep, then administered a fatal dose under professional supervision. The body is then taken away by a government agency called DOCS and counted toward saving the rest of humanity.

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So a former, well-known and respected TV news anchorman, Charles York (Peter Gallagher) and his wife Dawn (Uni Park) have invited their estranged family over for dinner to discuss something important. 

The children include oldest son Jared (Jay Baruchel), Rachel (Emily Hampshire), Ashley (Alanna Bale) and adopted son Noah (Sebastian Chacon).  

But just as they are in the midst of this family dinner, the doorbell rings and it’s Bob (Enrico Colantoni) from DOCS who has been assigned to assist and remove two bodies from the York household that evening.  Yes, Mom and Dad have filled out the required paperwork, deciding to check out, to the shock of their self-centered grown children.

But second thoughts creep in, Mom is definitely not on board and disappears.

Bob insists that he and his crew aren’t leaving without two bodies. The semi-noble father agrees to proceed, but the other body will have to come from the remaining brothers and sisters. They have two hours to figure it out.  

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At this point, “Humane” has my full attention. 

What a terrifying dilemma and how quickly the rat kids turn on each other. They each have their reasons to be spared. One is an actual spokesperson for the “enlistment,” another is an activist, a third is a piano virtuoso and the fourth a would-be actor.

However, they’re told if they haven’t decided by time expiring, they’ll be forced to draw straws. By the way, Bob is easily the most engaging character as his calm demeanor makes everything sound so reasonable. 

I should mention that this is a Shudder film presentation. Its films are known for a fair amount of horror and violence. However, “Humane” is smart and horrifying enough without needing the trademark gore. 

It would have been a much better movie without it, which is too bad because it’s still pretty riveting in spite of it.    

HUMANE (B-) Rated R for strong violence, and language throughout. Starring Jay Baruchel, Emily Hampshire, Peter Gallagher, Enrico Colantoni and Sebastian Chacon. Directed by Caitlin Cronenberg in her feature film debut.  She is the daughter of acclaimed director David Cronenberg. Filmed in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.  Running time: 94 minutes.  

The KSL Movie Show with Andy Farnsworth and Steve Salles airs Fridays on KSL NewsRadio from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Follow the show on Facebook, and join The KSL Movie Show Club for exclusive perks by texting MOVIE to 57500.

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KSL Movie Show review: ‘Humane’ is smart, and just horrifying enough