If you were ever once a teenager, then you’ve likely dreamed about leaving behind the world you know in search of a place to call your own like the cast of Avalan Fast’s Honeycomb. Frustrated by the humdrum existence of the adults around you? Ready to break free of society’s shackles? Honeycomb is the arthouse fantasy you’ve been living in your head, splashed across the silver screen from a scrappy group of young filmmakers trying to shape the world around them with the limited resources they have that their disposal.
Here’s who made it: Newcomer Avalon Fast directs from a screenplay co-written with Emmett Roiko. The film stars largely unknown actors including Sophie Bawks-Smith, Jillian Frank, Reily Houlihan, and Destini Stewart.
“A24 would be wise to scoop up this up-and-comer for their in-house roster of oddballs and mad geniuses.”
Here’s what it’s about: A group of girls decided to leave behind the life they knew to start a new society hidden in the woods surrounding their hometown. They establish a code of rules that outline their obligations to the group, and the punishment for any wrongdoings. Comparisons to Willaim Golding’s Lord of The Flies are expected but it’s important to remember that these girls have chosen to leave home and build a world in their image. In that sense, it’s much closer to folk horror than survival stories. Life in the woods is not as easy as the girls’ might have thought but it’s largely outside influences that threaten their existence. As the group grows, and the girls begin to allow boys to visit, their way of life is threatened and they do everything in their power to protect it.
Here’s why you might like it: I think we all dream of abandoning society to live out a life free from the junk of modern civilization., and that’s exactly the hypothetical situation you get to explore here. And with Yellowjackets fever in the air, now might be the absolute perfect time to watch Honeycomb. It’s an odd film because portions of it play like home movies shot with friends during a summer trip to the cottage. Other moments examine gender politics in a pretty straightforward manner, but then there are these other moments where Fast’s artistry really shines through. Sometimes it’s just in an insert shot, but mostly it’s in these odd soliloquy-styled segments with characters by themselves like visualized poetry.
Here’s my honest opinion: Honeycomb shows a lot of promise for Avalon Fast as a filmmaker. Given the low/no budget constraints and the low-fi, independent nature of it all, it’s going to be fairly unapproachable for the average moviegoer. It’s a great proof-of-concept for a career the way some short films are proofs-of-concept for a feature but it’s not a particularly fun watch. It’s a bit of a slog at times for such a short runtime but there are some moments of subtle brilliance hidden in there. A24 would be wise to scoop up this up-and-comer for their in-house roster of oddballs and mad geniuses. Honeycomb will not be for everyone but movie nerds curious about emerging talent will find it hard to deny Fast as a new voice one rock-solid picture away from breaking onto the scene.
Avalon Fast’s debut feature Honeycomb celebrated it’s East Coast Premiere at the 2022 Boston Underground Film Festival. Be sure to let us know if you’re excited to see this lo-fi folk horror, and what you would do if you wanted to hide away from the world over on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and in the official Nightmare on Film Street Discord. Not a social media fan? Get more horror delivered straight to your inbox by joining the Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter.