Fresh off strong reviews out of the Toronto International Film Festival, A24 has debuted the official trailer for Stephen Karam’s “The Humans.” The film marks Karam’s directorial debut and is an adaptation of his Tony-winning play of the same name. Richard Jenkins, Jayne Houdyshell, Amy Schumer, Beanie Feldstein, Steven Yeun, and June Squibb star in this isolated chamber piece about a family come undone over Thanksgiving dinner. Houdyshell is the sole holdover from the original Broadway cast, and she won a Tony for her performance on stage.
The official synopsis for “The Humans” from A24 reads: “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. Haunting and piercingly funny, The Humans explores the hidden dread of a family and the love that binds them together.”
In his B+ review out of the Toronto International Film Festival, IndieWire senior film critic David Ehrlich called “The Humans” the “first real horror movie about 9/11,” calling it a startling collision of Broadway and Blumhouse.
“It’s a stilted and unnerving film that chips away at the petrified staginess of its origins with every sudden noise, as if Karam were sledge-hammering little cracks into the hull of his film’s WASPy modern family,” Ehrlich’s review reads. “Over time, patriarch Erik Blake (Richard Jenkins) takes on existential dread like ocean water until his once-unsinkable sense of self is nothing but a ghost ship washed to shore a few blocks from where the World Trade Center used to be.”
“‘The Humans’ grows stronger as it migrates from mind to body — day to night, talky drama to outright horror…Karam takes to the genre like a serial killer to a summer camp, setting up jump-scares with a precision that could land him a gig directing the next ‘Insidious’ sequel if he’s not careful. Still, these jolts are less unsettling on their own than they are for the cumulative power they accrue at the end of a movie less attuned to individual fears than it is to the crushing weight of fear itself, which is always looking for a crack in the wall that it can seep through and sink you.”
“The Humans” will be released in theaters and on Showtime beginning November 24. Watch the official trailer for the drama in the video below.