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Human Factors - Movie Review

Human Factors

One German family - consisting of Jan (Mark Waschke) and Nina (Sabine Timoteo), teenage daughter, Emma (Jule Hermann), and Max (Wanja Valentin Kube), their young son - are about to get their world rocked by a home invasion that is witnessed by almost everyone, yet perceived severely differently by each member of this dysfunctional family.

Let the family introspection and paranoia begin!

"proves to be as inescapable as the anxiety which holds these characters in its grip"


This is the chilly atmosphere of Human Factors, a psychological thriller which is just as unsettling as the actual home invasion is.  The film, a German-Italian-Danish production, is well made and soaked in moody paranoia as the sudden and unnerving incident of strangers bursting FROM WITHIN the bedroom of this family’s vacation home is replayed from multiple points of view.  

Who saw what?  Does it even matter?  The fact is that it happened and the family has no clue how to best deal with it.

This frayed family is barely hanging on and the incident tears loose the one thread holding them together.  It doesn’t help that we, as audience members, are outside of the home when it happens, but the challenge lies in not being there, but in how it is perceived and what it exposes about this very human family as fears are exploited, paranoia firmly rooted, and voyeurism toyed with.

It seems this family might be afraid of the wrong things.  At the advertising agency Nina and Jan co-own, they have signed a new politically charged client, forcing them to confront their clashing priorities. The whole reason for the vacation is to escape the mounting tensions at work.  But what’s meant to be an idyllic off-season retreat in their seaside vacation home turns sinister when a mysterious home invasion sets everything off balance. Human Factors

Though at first the aftermath brings the family closer, as they try to put the incident into perspective, their accounts of what took place begin to unravel alongside the couple’s faith in each other.  Directed by Ronny Trocker, the psychological thriller played Berlin, Cleveland IFF, Sao Paulo IFF, & more after its debut at Sundance in 2021 and now it is set for a digital release thanks to Dark Star Pictures.

The journey within is a dark one.  And, due to a seriously intelligent use of cinematography thanks to the work of Klemens Hufnagl throughout the feature, Human Factors proves to be as inescapable as the anxiety which holds these characters in its grip while it moves its pieces across the chess board.  

Dark Star Pictures has set Human Factors for a May 24 Digital release.

3/5 stars

 

Film Details

Human Factors

MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime:
102 mins
Director
: Ronny Trocker
Writer:
Ronny Trocker
Cast:
Mark Waschke; Marthe Schneider; Sabine Timoteo
Genre
: Thriller | Drama
Tagline:
Are we ever really safe?
Memorable Movie Quote:
Distributor:
Dark Star Pictures
Official Site:
Release Date:
May 24, 2022 - Digital Platforms worldwide
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
Synopsis: At the advertising agency they co-own, French-German couple Nina and Jan have signed a new politically charged client, forcing them to confront their clashing priorities. To escape mounting tensions at work, they whisk their kids, Max and Emma, away to their seaside vacation home. But what’s meant to be an idyllic off-season retreat turns sinister when a mysterious home invasion sets everything off balance. Though at first the aftermath brings the family closer, as they try to put the incident into perspective, their accounts of what took place begin to unravel alongside the couple’s faith in each other.

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Human Factors

 

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