Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Shocking, unsettling horror movie has gore, language.

Movie NR 2021 106 minutes
Honeydew Poster Image

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While there are many horror movies about innocent travelers tangling with rural creeps, this one makes the formula bracing again, relying on actual internal logic and an intense, foreboding mood. Directed and co-written by Devereux Milburn, making his feature debut, Honeydew starts well, expertly throwing viewers off balance. Unlike most movies of this type, the traveling couple doesn't really make any dumb mistakes to get into their predicament; it's all just bad luck and circumstance that could happen to anyone. An old-timey educational film on the "sordico" (a seemingly made-up word, though related to ergot) and sliding split-screens set things off-balance.

An insidious, nerve-splitting score and sound design take things into a truly unusual realm, especially alongside the constantly twittering Popeye and Betty Boop cartoons playing on an old TV screen and a truly unnerving nightmare sequence that has jumping, lurching logic. The movie even manages to echo David Lynch, a filmmaker who's notoriously difficult to imitate. Aside from the sharp filmmaking, though, Honeydew has a queasy side effect, not only because of the unpleasant territory it veers into but also because of the characters, who, although realistically flawed, mostly turn out to be irredeemable. It's not a comfortable movie by a long shot, and it may challenge even veteran horror fans.

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