We'll Test it on Humans indie film review

★★★★

Directed by: #BrianGianci, #ChrisShenkle

Written by: #BrianGianci, #ChrisShenkle

Starring: #BrianGianci, #ChrisShenkle, #CourtneyDesman

Film Review by: #DarrenTilby



This messy and tonally confused feature-length movie from the minds of Brian Gianci and Chris Shenkle struggles to find its niche as it toes-the-line between #comedy, #absurdity and obsession. But while messy it may be, what's left as the end credits roll is an unquestionably enjoyable and entertaining romp through the darker aspects of love.


Timid Ernie Mills' (Brian Gianci) marriage is on the rocks. His wife, Joan (Courtney Desman), has neither time nor respect for her husband. Much of this tension stems, seemingly, from her husband's inability to kick-out his layabout step-brother, Kurt (Chris Shenkle). A rather unsavoury character and filmmaker by trade – although we get the feeling he's probably never actually made anything before – who has been "crashing" on the couple's sofa and making a mess of the house for quite some time.

It's after another failed attempt at expelling his step-brother and in a moment of desperation to save his marriage that he and Kurt hatch a ludicrous plan – involving a yet to be tested on humans drug – to make Joan fall in love with him again.


Our two leads (Ernie and Kurt) seem, at least on first impression, to be polar opposites of one another: Ernie is committed to his wife and the idea of family and comes off as instantly likeable, whilst Kurt refuses to commit to anything that doesn't benefit him and…well, isn't. However, as the film goes on – and due to some very nuanced character writing – this divide between the two characters begins to muddy.


Performances from the two leads are very good and lead us through the film relatively well. But there's a whole host of colourful characters here to enjoy. Courtney Desman provides a solid and welcome grounding as Ernie's wife Joan, a woman at her wit’s end; and James Wirt is similarly brilliant as Joe Dingleman, a down on his luck real estate agent.


The film rarely falters from a technical standpoint either. The #cinematography and soundtrack are adequate for the genre of film this is if a little unremarkable; but the editing (the star of the show) is absolutely sublime. It's with the plot and script writing we find issues. Put simply, the dialogue between the characters has a tendency to feel forced or unrealistic, which causes some of the jokes to fall flat (although it's worth noting most do land well).


The other issue is with the film's tone; it just can't seem to decide what it wants to be. It flitters from #comedy to #thriller to almost having a #sciencefiction inflexion. Which isn't a problem if it's done correctly. Unfortunately, these tonal shifts don't make a lot of sense and can disrupt the flow of the movie at times.


Neither of these problems was enough to ruin the movie for me though, and all in all, We'll Test it on Humans surprised me. It surprised me because not only is it capable of having these #comedic moments, and these strange moments of absolute absurdity, but it's also capable of intelligently examining that very fine line between genuine love and obsessive desire for self-gratification. This is a really well-crafted film which is deserving of your time.

Watch the official #movietrailer below.