With the popularity of films like The Hunger Games or the more brutal and way better Battle Royale bringing the life or death race to bigger audiences it is no surprise that others are putting their spin on it now. The latest taking that race or die aspect to the screen is The Human Race, but its hoping to bring the gore back and something new to the idea, but is it a race worth joining or should you just stay at the starting line?
The Human Race follows a group of 80 people are ripped out of their daily lives and all re-appear in an undisclosed location and forced into a strange race. The rules to the race boom in their heads, in their own voice and language, laying out what will become a horrific race of terror: 'If you are lapped twice, you die. If you step off the path, you die. If you touch the grass, you will die. Race... or die.' This is one of those movies that is a bit all over the place at first but does manage to find a bit of cohesion by the end. Initially they use varying aspects to introduce the characters prior to the race, but really all seemed unnecessary with the exception of a couple of them as they are actually more the leads. Maybe it was meant to throw the viewer off so not to know who is leading the charge but it makes it a bit hard to get into it due to the inconsistency. Once we get to the actual race it gets to be pretty entertaining allowing human nature to be the real evil they are dealing with here as they fight to survive. There are plenty of hardcore gore moments that help to take it to the next level, but there are some aspects of how these people die that make little sense for most of the time until you get to see the twist ending. Most of the Scanners-like head explosions are done with CGI but still look pretty decent, but they do throw in plenty of practical bloodletting moments as well to keep the gore hounds happy.
The biggest issue with this film is the initial inconsistency that will likely throw some viewers off before ever getting to the meat and gore of the race. It never quite gets out of the straight to video feel, but does manage to entertain on a mindless bloody fun level. Add to the fact that they throw in an interesting twist at the end and don’t both to make explanations for everything and it makes for a fun little film. If you decide to give it a shot, just let it play out and stick with it and just enjoy the blood filled fun.