Screened as part of NZIFF 2022

The Humans 2021

Directed by Stephen Karam

A family gathers to celebrate Thanksgiving in a rundown lower Manhattan apartment, Stephen Karam’s piercingly haunting adaptation of his own play explores the hidden dread beneath family bonds.

USA In English
108 minutes DCP




Stephen Karam, Louise Lovegrove, Jeffrey Penman


Stephen Karam. Based on his play


Lol Crawley


Nick Houy

Production designer

David Gropman

Costume designer

Ann Roth


Nico Muhly


Richard Jenkins (Erik), Jayne Houdyshell (Deirdre), Amy Schumer (Aimee), Beanie Feldstein (Brigid), Steven Yeun (Richard), June Squibb (Momo)


Toronto 2021; Sydney 2022


“An adaptation of his own Tony-winning play, Stephen Karam’s directorial debut is a Thanksgiving dinner invitation you won’t want to turn down. Featuring poignant, funny, lived-in performances from an impeccable ensemble – Amy Schumer, Beanie Feldstein, Jayne Houdyshell and Oscar nominees Richard Jenkins, Steven Yeun, and June Squibb – The Humans tracks the emotional intricacies of a working-class family bound by tradition, contention, and unshakable loyalties.” — Cameron Bailey, Toronto International Film Festival 2021

“Existential dread has rarely felt so intimate and visceral… the film is a remarkably insightful and powerful portrait of the human condition… Karam, delivering an unusually accomplished effort as a first-time director, expertly ratchets up the tension from the very beginning. The film’s technical aspects contribute greatly to the overall sense of unease, from Lol Crawley’s cinematography, which often features intense, Ingmar Bergman-style close-ups to Nico Muhly’s unsettling musical score (abetted by similarly bracing compositions by the likes of Philip Glass) to the unnerving sound design that makes the proceedings feel as much a horror film or psychological thriller as a family drama.” — Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter