Director: Tom Six
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
The Human Centipede starts out like any other horror, as two young American women on holiday in Germany break down in a secluded spot. They find themselves at the house of a doctor who turns out to be a mad scientist with a dream of creating a human centipede by surgically conjoining three people by means best left unmentioned. As a genre exercise it exists purely on the basis of its premise, and then fails utterly to deliver on it because Dutch writer-director Tom Six is so in love with his central conceit that he neglects to build any meaningful story around it. It’s so stretched and sparsely plotted that we’re well beyond the halfway point before we get any centipede action, at which time it can’t even provide the basic yuck factor you might be expecting. So it not that it’s horrific, it’s that it’s thuddingly tedious and ultimately pointless. And if you’re wondering why it has the subtitle First Sequence, rest assured that a sequel (Full Sequence) is already in the offing.