The Hive is not my usual movie. I’m not the biggest horror genre fan, but I do generally enjoy sci-fi horror. The Hive played for one night only in theaters and was distributed by Nerdist. I enjoy Chris Hardwick and didn’t think he would get behind something horrible. The other reason I dragged myself to the theater is I live in the house where the co-writer Will Honely grew up. My wife worked with his father and we bought the house. My wife keeps in contact and I wanted to see the movie he wrote. The movie won’t win any Oscars, but I had a good time and its worth watching if you enjoy science fiction or horror movies.
The movie starts out with Adam, Gabriel Basso, waking up in a ransacked room. He is disoriented and has amnesia. He has growths and a strange tar like substance all over his body. He soon begins having flashbacks and realizing the events that lead him to being stuck in a room. The start was a bit clunky. I didn’t quite by into Basso confusion and hysteria. I know he can pull this off though, he did a great job of it playing the whiney hysterical kid in Super 8. Once we get into the flashbacks of him remembering who he is the story picks up.
The hive at its core is a love story between Adam and Katie, Kathryn Prescott. Through Adams flashbacks we learn he is stuck at a summer camp as a counselor. It seems he has had his way with most of the female counselors. Once Adam starts to interact with Katie at the infirmary the story gains traction. The chemistry between Basso and Prescott is fantastic and you buy into their liking for one another. I didn’t necessarily buy into the setting or scenario, but the actual interaction felt like typical teenagers getting to know each other. As the story progresses it is this building romance that our story is hinged on. Adam wants to find out what happened to Katie and why he is stuck in a room alone.
The Hive are former/current humans who have been infected by a strange tar like substance. Hive members can infect by throwing up the tar on others. It was extremely gross, gory, and entertainingJ. Once infected the hive takes over the subjects body. They have one consciousness and can see what the infected sees, and control them. The loss of identity is a terrifying, and some of the best horror films have played on this concept. Star Trek’s The Borg are great example of this science fiction horror trope. The hive in the movie share a similar function of the Borg. They want to turn every human into one of them, and resistance to their efforts seems futile and infective. The film does a good job of portraying this concept.
The special effects for the movie are spectacular. The infected hive humans look great. The growths and tar are stunning and visceral. You wouldn’t want the stuff to get on you and it is a bit freaky. The voice modifications of the infected are a strong piece adding to the overall unnaturalness of the hive. It is very gender neutral, but goes to deep and high at different points. Hearing this from a female does invoke some scary moments. Overall I wasn’t terrified of the hive. One reason I usually avoid some horror films is the fact I still get nightmares as an adult. After seeing the Dawn of the Dead remake years ago I had zombie nightmares for weeks after. The Hive didn’t affect me on a deep level. I loved the style of the shooting and visuals the filmed provided. I just wasn’t frightened.
There are a few other drawbacks. Some of the sets suffered because of the low budget nature and I didn’t buy into Adams friend, Clark’s, story arc in the movie. The actor, Jacob Zachar, wasn’t horrible in the role. I just didn’t buy into the character. The low budget effected some of the lab areas shown. It took me out of the movie a bit, but it’s understandable when having to cut corners to get something made. It seemed the film spared no expense on the effects of the infected people, and I’m all for this. They looked spectacular, and I can take other areas suffering a bit for these effects. I also didn’t care for a few of the over the shoulder shots. It was supposed to give us a first person point of view, but it took me out of the movie. There was one shot of a brain operation which was spectacular. It was completely in first person point of view and not over the shoulder. I think if this was used for some of the other over the shoulder shots it would have added to the film overall.
I liked The Hive and glad I went and saw it. It’s not one I will add to my collection, but it’s worth seeing. Still might end up buying it just to support the film and people who made it. Find it on video on demand now. Hopefully it gets a wider release in theaters, or Netflix and Amazon Prime picks it up so a wider audience can see the film. The Nerdist name alone should get some people to watch the film. If you went and saw the movie let me know what you thought.
My Rating: Worth Watching