The Humans (15)

The Humans (15)

Director: Stephen Karam

Runtime: 108 minutes

Cast: Jayne Houdyshell, Richard Jenkins, Amy Schumer, Beanie Feldstein, Steven Yeun, June Squibb

Synopsis: Erik Blake has gathered three generations of his Pennsylvania family to celebrate Thanksgiving at his daughter’s apartment in lower Manhattan. As darkness falls outside and eerie things start to go bump in the night, the group’s deepest fears are laid bare. The piercingly funny and haunting debut film from writer-director Stephen Karam, adapted from his Tony Award-winning play, The Humans explores the hidden dread of a family and the love that binds them together.


An adaptation of Stephen Karam’s Tony-winning play, The Humans is a relatable, dialogue-driven drama centring on a dysfunctional family spending Thanksgiving in a decaying New York City duplex, where ceilings leak, cockroaches roam and lightbulbs fizzle out. Featuring a superb all-star cast including Richard Jenkins, Steven Yeun, Beanie Feldstein and Amy Schumer, the film offers a thoughtful and remarkably powerful commentary on careers, relationships and mental health.

The riveting story follows the Blake family during the course of one holiday dinner. Having just moved into their downtown Manhattan apartment, youngest daughter Brigid [Beanie Feldstein – Booksmart (2019), How to Build a Girl (2019), American Crime StoryImpeachment T.V (2021)] and her boyfriend Richard [Steven Yeun – Minari (2020), The Walking Dead TV 2010 -2016)] are hosting the family for the first time. Desperately in need of some renovation, the apartment unsettles the out-of-town family members with its creaks and groans. Particularly Erik [Richard Jenkins – The Shape of Water (2017), Kajillionaire (2020)] the somewhat timid patriarch who feels ill at ease away from the suburbs of Scranton, Pennsylvania, now in a city whose constant noise and activity never stops. But everyone tries to make the best of the situation. As the evening progresses, the family is forced to face up to generational differences and life in a new age.

Unexplained booming noises from upstairs, burned-out lights, and the claustrophobia of it all colour the ambience into almost horror film territory. While the cinematography by Lol Crawley forensically detailing the decaying building, blistering paintwork and even the decaying bodies of the characters and a spooky and unsettling musical score by Nico Muhly adds to the oppressive, paranoid impact and sense of dysfunction.

The Humans takes its Tony-winning source material from stage to screen without sacrificing the essence of writer-director Stephen Karam’s dysfunctional drama

On Curzon Home Cinema and in cinemas

Images courtesy of: Curzon Home Cinemas