Errors of the Human Body is such a profoundly boring movie. Touted as a thriller with science fiction elements, the film supplies very little in the way of either sci-fi or thrills and instead focuses on whiny, unintentional melodrama. And guilt. Lots and lots of guilt.
A very Ethan Hawke-looking Michael Eklund stars as Geoff, a geneticist working to cure the rare genetic disease that killed his infant son. Divorced from his wife, we meet sad and angry Geoff as he begins work at a scientific research facility in Germany, which happens to employ Rebekka, a former student and love interest of his. There's also a villain working there named Jarek. You'll know him when you see him. He looks like Riff Raff from Rocky Horror and acts like Gargamel from The Smurfs. Because this is a melodrama, he also used to sleep with Rebekka.
The science fiction elements of Errors of the Human Body revolve so much around reality grounded laboratory work that this hardly even counts as a genre entry. Rebekka believes she has discovered a method for cell regeneration in mammals. We see that it allows a mouse to regrow a cut-off tail. That's nearly it. Some very slight body horror elements come into play when we see pictures of Geoff's baby covered in weird scales and bumps, but it's hardly worth writing home about.
The plot pretty much all focuses on who is using Rebekka's discovery to do what while keeping their methods and findings secret from at least one of the other two characters in this wacky lab coat love triangle. I kept waiting for stuff to break open and get crazy or at least interesting, but instead Geoff just gets increasingly sad, Rebekka grows increasingly in love with him, and Jarek grows more villainous.
As it meanders along this path, the film delivers occasional scenes that are meant to thrill, but fail miserably due to the dour non-heroics of Geoff matched with the hilariously overwrought villainy of this Jarek guy. A costume party scene in which the two fight in a nightclub bathroom, for instance, doesn't really work not just because both characters are annoying jerks but also because Geoff's face is covered with an eye roll-worthy painted on skull. So instead of reading his emotions, we're distracted by heavy handed jabs at theme.
Things do get a bit more complicated regarding the nature of what really happened to Geoff's child, and there is an effectively weird and creepy dream sequence at one point, but none of this can save the film from its inability to offer us characters to care about or connect as a thriller. The film also suffers from too many endings. Just after a scene that appears to end the narrative in an underhanded fashion that at least remains consistent with what came before, the film goes on to have a completely unnecessary fourth act. And when that finally ends, it puts us through an epilogue as well.
People often call films like this cold and clinical, but this one's just boring. It is emotionally cold. And it does take place in a clinical environment with a fair amount of starkness all around. Achieving that aesthetic is one thing, but it certainly does not guarantee quality. There's such a thing as too cold and too clinical, and Errors of the Human Body spends most its running time on the wrong side of that line, crying over its dead baby.