Film Review: BLOOD HONEY (THE HIVE) (Canada 2017) **1/2

blood honeyTortured by the memory of a childhood trauma, a woman returns after a decade to her family’s fly-in hunting lodge to assist her siblings with their dying father, only to find herself stuck in a life threatening nightmare.

Director: Jeff Kopas
Writers: Jeff Kopas, Doug Taylor
Stars: Shenae Grimes-Beech, Gil Bellows, Kenneth Mitchell

Review by Gilbert Seah
 
The change of title from THE HIVE to BLOOD HONEY is a wise decision since there are already too many films that come up when googled under the film title THE HIVE. But THE HIVE also explains the ‘apparent’ closeness of the protagonist family in a remote northern fly cabin, but one that is forced rather than nurtured.

The word gripping can be used to describe the film as gripping is the emotion felt strongly in just 15 minutes of the film. A lot happens within the opening credits as well – a suicide, a girl’s growing up into a woman and the displayed sibling affection. The audience is set up for a Canadian film in which boring should not come into mind.

Tortured by the memory of a childhood trauma which is the witnessing of her mother’s suicide described in the earlier paragraph, a woman , Jenibel (Shenae Grimes-Beech) returns after a decade to her family’s fly-in hunting lodge to assist her siblings with their dying father, only to find herself stuck in a life threatening nightmare, where she must struggle to survive. She obviously blames her father for her mother’s suicide and has managed to forgive her father prior to her visit. But her father proves more than she expected. (She intends to forgive him but her father does not intend to be forgiven). At the same time, he makes her promise not to sell the lodge or the land. But her family feels otherwise. Bees come into the picture when the dying father commits a grand exit from life by being stung to death by the bees.

Director and co-writer Kopas (with Doug Taylor of SPLICE, a film I hated) says that his film is influenced by by classic old school thrillers such as Rosemary’s Baby, Vertigo, The Shining, and Jacob’s Ladder. This might be true but the film never reaches those heights or even remotely close, as these are high standards. There are a few good elements in the story, like the woman discovering she is slowly being poisoned.

The film lags in the middle when the woman is unclear what is happening, and the film relies on too may flashbacks and false alarms.

The script also never makes it clear the reason the father behaves in such a way causing the wife to commit suicide. His erratic behaviour is assumed to be caused by his guilt. The woman’s final escape also leaves too many credibility gaps.

The film was shot in the small local town of Britt in the Parry Sound District of the Province of Ontario. The film has a limited run beginning Friday September, 1st with a red carpet screening at the Cineplex Yonge and Dundas on Thursday August 31, 2017 6:30pm

The following talent from the film will be in attendance:
Don McKellar,
Gil Bellows,
Rosemary Dunsmore,
Natalie Brown,
Ken Mitchell,
Krystal Nausbaum
Director Jeff Kopas
Producers: Rob Budreau, Ryan Reaney, Jeff Kopas
Executive Producers: Marina Cordoni, Douglas Taylor and
CoProducer: David Anselmo

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/217438652
 

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