Dir. Avalon Fast
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
HONEYCOMB is not in competition with the likes of THE CONJURING and HALLOWEEN but like other independent breakouts, gives a startling and often chilling look at coming of age horror through an hallucinogenic lens that is unnerving and disjointed to the point that it pulls you into the nightmare.
Five girls breakout from their mundane lives and move to a cabin in the fields. Willow (Sophie Bawks-Smith), Leader (Destini Stewart), Jules (Jillian Frank), Vicky (Mari Geraghty), and Millie (Rowan Wales) pack their bags and say goodbye to the life they knew and set up a communion with very few extended invites.
There's a moment when the girls read out their rules of their communionship where the tone shifts. The layer of innocence masking the girls is lifted to show a sinister side to what is yet to unfold. Once it hits, it's like a head on collision that jolts you out of your seatbelt and subsequently follows as the naivety of youth falls out of the car window leaving a skeleton of blood and carnage on the windscreen. The immaturity and lack of life experience begins to show as the group escalate their views on appropriate levels of consequence and revenge. On their own, these acts aren't necessarily scary but it's the subtlety to these executions and how they are portrayed that gives a fractured relation to the event and how the girls feel about it.
The stilted cuts and sound editing, while on first appearance are amateur, actually create a nuance on the films direction and using the best of the budget actually manages to bed under the skin and crawls for a long time after. Max Graham's score cut with moments of silence and images not correlated to the sounds of what's happening that give a nausiating sense of detachment from the film that shows the true detachment the girls have taken from society.
There's something raw with little regard to steady camerawork, continuity, filters and studio lighting that really lets the film become an untamed beast. All this in return for a generally progressive and tantalisingly fresh. Avalon Fast's direction is chaotic and that makes all the more relative to the freedom experienced by the girls as they break away from societal handcuffs.
This is not for everyone and for mainstream cinema goers, the amateurish performances and college film production will alienate however like THE EVIL DEAD and THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, there's something really magical in the editorial suite that makes HONEYCOMB really stand tall of its own merits and limitations,
HONEYCOMB is indie film making at it's best and thankfully the art of film, no matter the budget, gives filmmakers a voice. CLERKS meets MAY via YELLOWJACKETS and succeeds in creating a nightmarish ride that is destined to garner cult status.