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Film Review: Honeydew (2020)

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SYNOPSIS:

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. 

REVIEW:

Honeydew is written and directed by Devereux Milburn (Stayed For, Wade). I felt this wicked anticipation to watch this movie. The film opens with these chilling heartland moments. It already feels uncomfortable and I have goosebumps, and the movie has barely started.

We meet Sam (Sawyer Spielberg) and Rylie (Malin Barr). The cinematography is beautiful. This movie already has an eerie atmospheric feel to it.

Sam and Rylie are on a road trip. They wind up camping out and then things go awry. They are restless, free spirits out in the middle of nowhere. This never ends well. They meet Eulis (Stephen D’Ambrose), and he informs them that they are on his property. They need to get moving.

Rylie and Sam wind up at a farm… again, in the middle of nowhere. Karen played by Barbara Kingsley (Jessica Jones, Best Man Down). Kingsley plays this ominous Hansel and Gretel type character. You are not quite sure if she is just a tad eccentric or is, she is going all-out. Karen is a wily one. Rylie and Sam want to call Triple AAA but Karen offers to call the neighbor instead.

Karen wants to cook for Sam and Rylie. Rylie is working on her thesis to get her doctorate in botany. Botany is the study of plants, it’s fascinating. If we have learned anything from moves like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) or American Gothic (1987), it’s that finding an old farmhouse in the middle of nowhere and then deciding to stay for dinner is never a good idea.Sam is an “actor/ waiter.” Karen also has a son. He’s had a traumatic experience or two. Karen seems genuine and sweet but worrisome.

Malin Barr and Sawyer Spielberg are playing the hell out of these characters. Karen takes Rylie and Sam to the basement. Rylie is in bed working hard on her thesis. Sam is still reciting lines and thinking about acting. He also ignores Rylie’s need to help him lower his cholesterol. Sam heads to the kitchen for an epic midnight snack. (It’s called a lifestyle change Sam.)

I feel like I’m hallucinating watching this movie. Rylie is distracted by the bizarre sounds echoing throughout the old house. Rylie’s wide-eyed look of panic shows. He goes on and tells his secrets to Karen’s son as Sam continues to eat mini cupcakes, meat, pie, and an assortment of food.

Karen’s son Gunni (Jamie Bradley) likes watching old cartoons. The oddball and sometimes unnerving music composed for Honeydew adds to the delirium of this movie. Barbara Kingsley is just so delightful in this movie.

 

Rylie was supposed to be taking a shower. Rylie is nowhere to be found. So, Sam is roaming around the house now after going through a trippy experience with Gunni. Sam goes outside and Gunni is outside. Sam tries to get Gunni to come out of the truck. That’s not happening. This movie is stressing me out. Not in a bad way but, in a, what in the horror movie hell is going to happen?

Sam’s phone is almost dead, he tries to call 9 11 for help, that doesn’t go well. HOLY KAREN! Sam finds Rylie and they are in a bad situation.  Milburn delivers with this material. It’s a refreshing take on what can be a tired concept. Another girl being kept on the property, and Eulis is Karen’s husband. He performed “treatments” over the years.

Sawyer Spielberg delivers this intense performance. I’m sure by now the whole planet knows that he’s the son of Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw. I don’t know why he decided to take on this role, but I am so HAPPY THAT HE DID! They also have animal traps all over the property.

The biblical insanity mixed with the lengths people will go, in regards to diets. It’s overwhelming. We live in this society where social media and “trends” are what people follow. (I am not a doctor but have been on my own “lifestyle change” and I have learned that moderation and mixing things up helps.) We are bombarded with what to eat and what not to eat.

Barbara Kingsley is THE BEST! She borrows a little bit of Annie Wilkes from Misery and a dash of Jack Nicholson in The Shining. She managed to create this terrifying and oh, look, I am a nice lady character. It’s wild. She makes this trippy, wild movie so much fun.

It’s daylight now and it’s too soon to tell if the insanity is over or not? I know one thing; I can’t wait to see what’s next for Devereux Milburn. I would recommend checking out Honeydew.

Dark Star Pictures and Bloody Disgusting will release the rural horror film HONEYDEW on VOD, Digital HD, and DVD on April 13, 2021.

HONEYDEW is written and directed by Devereux Milburn (shorts “Stayed For” and “Wade”) and stars Sawyer Spielberg in his feature acting debut, Malin Barr (Skyscraper, First Love, CBS’s “Bull”), and Barbara Kingsley (The Straight Story, “Jessica Jones”). 

 

 

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