Caitlin Cronenberg, director of Humane, is no stranger to the idea of a well-known family. Her brother Brandon has directed some of the best recent horror movies (Infinity Pool, Possessor, Antiviral). Her father is the famous David Cronenberg; best known for The Fly, Videodrome, Scanners, and his amazing cameo in Jason X. So to say that expectations are high for Caitlin’s directorial debut is a fair assumption; and for the most part, Humane etches out a great niche. One that shows that Caitlin for better is not her father’s daughter or her brother’s sister.


A Slightly Dulled Thriller

Humane is set in the near future where countries are forced to trim their population by 20% to curb overpopulation. At the forefront of the story of Humane is the York family. Headed by patriarch Charles (Peter Gallagher); Peter gets his family involved in an increasingly spiralling situation; where his children must contend with the fallout of his choices and the presence of Bob and Tony; who are there to ensure that the family is held accountable.

The plot and story are effective for what they are, but they seldom take as many risks as they can. Often I felt like the plot was in service of giving us character moments and individual plot beats. It never felt super distinct or individualized to this movie.


It would’ve helped if both Bob and Tony felt more formidable. As they are, they’re also effective for what they are; but lack any real depth to make them elite-level villains in this story. They could easily have been more terrifying and a terrifying presence but often they’re made to feel like everyday people. It was a sharp contrast; and I never quite felt like the villains were as imprinted into my brain as they could’ve been.

Keeping Things Tight


The highlight for me was the family. Jay Baruchel, Emily Hampshire, Sebastian Chacon, and Alanna Bale all are standouts and are incredibly effective. After the inciting incident, the movie falls on their shoulders. They all bring different personalities and insights into the story. It reminded me a lot of the Adam Wingard movie You’re Next; where the family and their relationships become a focal point of the story. Unlike You’re Next; I was rooting for the family here in Humane more. They felt relatable and likeable even in the face of their many issues.

Also, a lot of this movie takes place in tight claustrophobic locations; and the lighting and cinematography in these scenes were quite good. They really utilized the space well and effectively showed off the best parts of the spaces they used.


Even if the villains and overall plot felt a bit undercooked; it’s family and the family relationships that sell this movie. The ending certainly reinforces that this family; despite their issues, they still support each other and I think that’s what the movie was primarily about.

Still, it’s an effective enough thriller that you’ll be interested to see what happens next; and I’m certainly interested in what Caitlin does next.

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