Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Honeydew Review: An Unusual and Unsettling Family Affair

Sawyer Spielberg	...	Sam Malin Barr	Malin Barr	...	Rylie Barbara Kingsley	Barbara Kingsley	...	Karen Stephen D'Ambrose	Stephen D'Ambrose	...	Eulis Jamie Bradley	Jamie Bradley	...	Gunni Joshua Patrick Dudley	Joshua Patrick Dudley	...	Thin Young Man Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Rachel Alexandria Arnold	Rachel Alexandria Arnold	...	Funeral Singer William Aydelott	William Aydelott	...	Priest Shauna Mizula	Shauna Mizula	...	Funeral Mourner

Release date: March 31, 2021
Running time: 107 minutes
Written and Directed By: Devereux Milburn
Starring: Sawyer Spielberg, Malin Barr, and Barbara Kingsley

Honeydew tells the story of a young couple (played by Spielberg and Barr) who are forced to seek shelter in the home of an aging farmer (Kingsley) and her peculiar son, when they suddenly begin having strange cravings and hallucinations taking them down a rabbit hole of the bizarre. 

Michael DeRosa	...	co-producer David Estrakh	...	executive producer Adam Friedman	...	co-producer Rob Goldrich	...	co-producer Mary Karr	...	executive producer Dan Kennedy	...	producer Sam Permutt	...	executive producer Alan Pierson	...	producer Oran Schwager	...	executive producer Kent Scott	...	co-producer Ralph Vartolo	...	co-producer
Honeydew is a strange movie to judge, as the film has all the components of something that I would love.  The camera work is first class, with a soft style and great nature shots to keep you engaged.  The film has an odd sensibility and is so very different from other movies in the horror genre that it easily stands out.  And it has a cast of unique, fleshed out characters that inhabit this strange horrible menagerie.  And the movie has an overarching sense of dread as you try to figure out what is going on in this strange house.  The film also has fantastic sound, with an unsettling combination of normal household sounds, classic cartoons, and otherworldly instruments to give you a creepy soundtrack that has plenty of familiar notes.  Every component is something I really appreciate in a horror film, and in movies in general, so I was really looking forward to watching this.

But Honeydew is itself an odd and unsettling film that sometimes feels like it tries to be weird for the sake of being strange.  I never got a great feeling for why this family is doing what it does.  This house feels like the house from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre films, with an odd cast of characters doing strange and unusual activities due to their isolation and lack of consequences.  Although the story comes together in the end, you will be left with plenty of questions throughout the movie and only a slightly satisfying explanation at the end.  I kept wondering why all this was happening during the film and in the end, I still didn't feel like I had a complete picture of this situation and these characters.  I kept wondering what is Honeydew trying to do and say; was it just being strange for the sake of it or was there some deeper message?  And the film takes a very long time to develop, with a ton of time spent before the main conflict arises.  Finally, the film is a horror film for sure, but the film is not actually that scary.  It is strange and weird, but there are few if any actual scares in Honeydew.  

Honeydew is a slow burning journey into an unusual and unsettling family situation with a cast of unique characters and an otherworldly, yet familiar soundtrack. 

Rent it.

Directed by  Devereux Milburn	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Dan Kennedy	...	(story) Devereux Milburn	...	(story) Devereux Milburn	...	(written by)    Music by  John Mehrmann	Cinematography by  Dan Kennedy	Film Editing by  Devereux Milburn	Production Design by  Kendra Eaves	Makeup Department  Kyrsta Morehouse	...	makeup department headSecond Unit Director or Assistant Director  Samuel Bricker	...	assistant director
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Honeydew is available digitally and on demand on April 9, 2021. 

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