Honeydew Review: A Captivatingly Strange Eerie Stranded in the Sticks Flick
Terror in the Forest Terror is almost always a safe bet, at least for those of us who appreciate the great outdoors. You could say that the old tropes that come with remote forest horror movies have worn off, but some of us never tire of seeing city dwellers out of their element, reunited with a maniacal raider, a forest. vindictive or a violent gang of consanguinees. Sometimes the formula is fine. However, within a subgenre full of films that hardly deviate from the norm, there is a chilling unique that introduces new techniques and original horror points. Screenwriter and director Devereux Milburn sets out to create just that with his directorial debut. Honeydew. In fact, it is unique. Captivatingly strange. However, it might disappoint those hoping for a fanfare of woody horror fun.
As you can see in the Honeydew trailer, the movie is surreal and at times downright unsettling, but with such a strong emphasis on mood and deliberate weirdness that it veers off into tedious territory. The unique, perhaps overbearing sound design creates a powerfully strange feel, and Honeydew It does have its tingly moments, but this is little more than a gross, artistic exercise in mood. Rookie director Deveruex Milburn clearly has a taste for the strangely gripping. Between what is heard and what is felt, this new filmmaker knows how to create a surly absurdity that can send chills. While the feeling is important, “a couple stranded in a wooded shack with cannibals” the horror deserves more throbbing excitement and outright scare, and Honeydew It derives all of its horror from the characters’ creepy quirks and a spirit of foreboding that doesn’t meet a satisfyingly horrible payoff outside of standard stomach-churning antics.
Rylie (Malin Barr) and her boyfriend Sam (Sawyer Spielberg) head to the Dust Bowl for Rylie’s studies of decaying American farmland. He is on the way to receiving his Ph.D. in Botany. Sam is an actor, making lines in the bathroom at his gas station pit stop, where a lanky, dead-eyed man stares, signaling that his next camping trip may pack the darkness.
The two decide to camp for the night in an open field, where they have a half-hearted round of tent sex before being surprised by Eulis, a local gang member on a tractor who urges them off private property. However, once they are packed and ready to go, they discover that the car is dead.
Honeydew Movie Review
Sam and Rylie decide to do what any normal couple would do when they get caught in the sticks in the middle of the night: they walk up to a stranger’s cabin and knock on the door. They are greeted by a smiling old woman with vacant eyes named Karen (Barbara Kingsley) who, due to her late responses and inability to make eye contact, may be senile. She welcomes them for an overnight shelter and a dinner of meat and potatoes, assembled from a questionable corpse in a dirty refrigerator. Sam is on a cholesterol-free diet and Rylie is vegan, but they do.
Sitting across from them during this disgusting meal is an obese boy-looking man named Gunni (Jamie Bradley), whose visibility bleeds down his face under a large bandage wrapped around his head. Gunni sits quietly, animalistically chewing lemons and watching Betty Boop cartoons amid occasional seizures.
After dinner, Karen prepares the couple for the night in a basement room. Rylie reads while an old television plays in the background, and Sam, for some strange reason, hits himself in the shower.
After your shower session, go upstairs for a late night snack while Rylie investigates strange noises in the basement. Sam falls into a nightmare, involving food, familiar characters with faint eyes speaking in haunting baritone voices, and some kind of throbbing tumor in his stomach. You wake up ready to eat. As Sam eats muffins and ambiguous meat, Gunni scares him and goes into the kitchen to stay put.
From there, the cannibal madness begins, shocks ensue, and we’re subject to a Lena Dunham cameo in which she plays a limbless zombie woman who speaks between screams and moans, kept alive only by Karen feeding her bits of ” steak “wet. in lemonade.
Credit where legitimately owed: Honeydew it’s drenched in a spectacularly gloomy, almost otherworldly feel that couldn’t be described so much as atmospheric as “moody.” The film’s soundtrack, consisting mostly of eerie jingles and metallic bangs and the occasional drum, is mixed with the clanking of plates and scraping of forks. Nightmare sequences turn into hypnotic strangeness. The camera stops on partially swallowed food, liquids dripping from various places, and wounds. Between the film’s chillingly slow pace and the constant, almost overwhelming sound design, a real sense of some other haunting and hallucinatory place is created. Milburn, with his first feature film, illustrates a knack for leading audiences into this sinister realm, leaving us mesmerized, disturbed and, frankly, a bit upset.
The film hesitates to be an art style on substance throughout its duration, exhibiting a forced obsession with weirdness that resembles the energy of a person describing themselves as “quirky.” Strange is never poor quality in a horror movie. Heavy humor is almost always a bonus. Honeydew It is strange, like a dream and oozes the feeling that something terrible is to come, but when the terror hits you have sat before so many food takes, Gunni attacks and useless fights of young couples that you are bored and a little nauseous .
The excitement might heighten if there was a greater sense of danger, but that requires someone to support. Neither Sam nor Rylie incite any level of care. They are boring characters, not particularly nice, who are victims of horror. From the beginning they trade fed up, sarcastic comments. Neither of us wants to make things nice, and if they don’t mind, why should we?
Karen and Gunni, on the other hand, are a pair of spectacularly creepy horror villains. Gunni has a repulsive air, which can make some goosebumps. Karen is a creepy and insane old lady who is hard to read and creepier for it. Together they form a formidable horror duo of a nightmarish old woman and her slimy, slow-moving son. Their disturbing sets of behaviors bring chills, but that can’t fully carry the horror.
Honeydew offers good results in all areas. While Sam and Rylie may not be the most compelling characters, both Malin Barr and Sawyer Spielberg are credible and not without their acting skills. Spielberg, son of that Spielberg, is quite soft; fun when it has to be and someone who is not unexciting to follow. Barr is in the moment, visibly terrified and often sweating, making a lame character perhaps more fascinating to watch than he should be. They both have chemistry, they just could have been given more to work with.
Barbara Kingsley and Jamie Bradley are terrific as resident cannibals. Kingsley is hollow, but smiling. Apparently healthy, but sinister. Even when she’s being warm and welcoming, you see through her door-to-hell eyes that something terrible awaits you. Bradley is a disturbing force. Together they are cause for immediate and memorable awkwardness, but in the middle of the film, when you expect a carnage to take place in the woods, their chilling nature has faded.
Like an everything, Honeydew it’s stylistically impressive and pleasantly strange to fans of the genre who revel in that kind of mind-boggling strangeness. His score, which is based on noise rather than anything that can be called music, is a special touch that made me reel and gave me hope. Our pair of villains who live in shacks and eat people are remarkably creepy for at least the first half of the movie. Honeydew It just doesn’t pack the scare in the middle of nowhere necessary to justify a recommendation or repeat viewing. His restlessness is a trick that fades before the true terror you have been waiting for creeps in. However, an exceptionally positive conclusion is that this film expresses the promising artistic flair and somber sensibilities of director Devereux Milburn, who surely has more unusual and interesting things in the works. Honeydew will be available on VOD, Digital HD and DVD on April 13.
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