‘Humane’ Trailer: Peter Gallagher Sacrifices Himself in Eco-Thriller for Caitlin Cronenberg’s Feature Debut

The daughter of an iconic horror filmmaker making a thriller about a father sacrificing himself? Just don’t call it meta.

Caitlin Cronenberg’s directorial feature debut “Humane” is a family thriller starring Peter Gallagher as a patriarch whose suicide plan goes haywire, leaving his children (Jay Baruchel and Emily Hampshire) to fight for their own survival. Cronenberg is the daughter of body horror auteur David Cronenberg; her brother Brandon Cronenberg helmed “Possessor” and buzzy thriller “Infinity Pool.”

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“Humane” takes place over the course of a single day, set months after a global ecological collapse has forced world leaders to take extreme measures to reduce the earth’s population, per the official synopsis. In a wealthy enclave, a recently retired newsman has invited his grown children to dinner to announce his intentions to enlist in the nation’s new euthanasia program. But when the father’s plan goes horribly awry, tensions flare and chaos erupts among his children.

Jay Baruchel, Emily Hampshire, Peter Gallagher, and Enrico Colantoni star.

Toronto-based filmmaker Cronenberg previously helmed short films “The Endings” and “The Death of David Cronenberg,” starring her father. The one-minute short was auctioned off in 2021, with David Cronenberg writing, directing, and played himself in the movie. Caitlin Cronenberg shot the short and produced it.

Cronenberg exclusively told IndieWire that “Humane” was her ideal feature directorial debut as the script resonated with her filmic sensibilities.

“It had humor and darkness and felt timely while still essentially being a family drama,” Cronenberg said. “Michael [Sparaga] is a brilliant writer and I knew he’d be amazing to collaborate with through this process. I don’t consider it a straight horror film as it doesn’t necessarily fit into the classic definition of horror. I like to think of it as genre-bending or a ‘family thriller.’ The characters had so many levels we knew it would attract a brilliant cast, and it all just fell into place.”


Cronenberg continued, “We had an incredible crew of talented artists both in front of and behind the camera, and no detail was left undiscussed. I hope our audience gets engrossed in the world of ‘Humane’ and enjoys the ride!”

Cronenberg isn’t the only horror icon’s daughter making her feature debut this year: M. Night Shyamalan’s daughter Ishana Night Shyamalan is directing an adaptation of A.M. Shine’s thriller “The Watchers,” set for a June 7 release from Warner Bros. The film stars Dakota Fanning as a woman lost in the Irish woods who suddenly finds herself trapped alongside three other strangers. Each evening, the foursome must outrun flesh-eating creatures. “Barbarian” breakout star Georgina Campbell, Oliver Finnegan, and Olwen Fouere round out the cast.

Like Cronenberg, Shyamalan worked with her father prior to making her feature debut. Shymalan previously directed three episodes of dad M. Night Shyamalan’s Apple TV+ series “Servant,” and directed second unit on his films “Old” and “Knock at the Cabin.”

“Humane” premieres April 26 in select theaters from IFC Films and will stream July 26 on Shudder. Check out the trailer below.

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