Alright gang, it’s the 4th, which means its day 4 of my #31DaysofHorror. Today’s movie : The Hive!
A young man suffering from amnesia must dig deep into the far reaches of his mind to remember who he is and save the love of his life before a virus that has infected him takes over.
So, this little movie was a Nerdist production (apparently that’s a thing now), which means that Chris Hardwick has gone from host of a horrible TV show, to some kind of insane Podcasting emperor over the span of a few years. The Nerdist label being attached to it was one of the things that initially caught my attention, along with one review (which of course made the trailer) calling it “Evil Dead meets Memento”, which is an extraordinarily bold statement (especially after having seen this over-long YouTube short…) and honestly can be a death sentence for movies like this. I know in my last review, I compared Deathgasm to Dead Alive and Evil Dead but that movie earned those comparisons, this movie did not.
One of the most jarring elements to this film is the look of it. It cuts back and forth between the past and present and presents the story in a semi-disjointed way (see, it’s like Memento, right?). The scenes shot in the past are quite nice to look at, and resemble an actual movie. Whereas the scenes set in the present have dialed the contrast up to 11 and chucked a blue filter all over everything. It felt a lot like a music video or a short horror film making attempts at stylizing their movie. The thing is, these two things do not mesh especially well, and I would have gotten that one was the past and one was the present without the distinction. The other problem is that it is inconsistent, the movie maintains its “normal” film style for its scenes from the past until we are introduced to the titular Hive, and then it sort of goes back and forth on the whole contrasty style.
Alright, so my distaste for the look and feel of this movie aside, lets carry on. The star of this particular vehicle is Gabriel Basso (Super 8), and he delivers a perfectly serviceable performance as Adam. That said, the character is a bit hard to take, but that comes more from the script. Basso does a fine job with what he’s given, and there is some genuine chemistry with Kathryn Prescott (Skins) who plays his love interest Katie. The pair are pretty fun to watch, particularly in the flashbacks of them sparking their romance in the infirmary at the summer camp they both work at.
The real issues with this movie come from the script. The story is really all over the place, and really sets itself up like its going to have some big reveal in the end (in the vein of Memento). The issue is that all it really does it tell 99% of the story at the half way mark, and then jams the past into the present in the second half, despite the fact that most of you watching it will have gotten the jist of what is happening once Adam starts remembering his friends being ‘infected’. So, the story is sloppy, and carries on too long, only to end with what you will have figured out by then. There is no reveal, and I don’t meant a twist here by the way. The movie didn’t need a twist, but it needed something to give the ending some punch, and it just didn’t.
One of the reviews I saw on IMDB said that this movie felt like a “sloppy MTV pilot”, and I’m inclined to agree with that response. There’s a lot of style, and blood in this movie, but it really doesn’t amount to anything at all. I think the expression is “all sizzle, no steak, and the sizzle is more of a dull fart noise”… or something like that. The really unfortunate part is that there really may have been something here, the idea of an infection that links people by a hive mind (only referred to as The Hive once in the movie by the way) is kind of an interesting concept. The trouble is, this movie shoves in an additional story line about a doctor (who is ultimately responsible for the outbreak) and it really didn’t need to. The movie would have worked just fine with the four core characters dealing with the outbreak.
Overall, this one really falls flat. It has the glimmer of a good idea inside it, but not one that is bright enough for me to recommend it. I hope that this isn’t the end of Nerdist productions, because I really would love for that to continue, but it doesn’t bode very well. That said, if you like your movies with really high contrast, and an almost entirely Steve Aoki composed soundtrack, then check it out I guess.
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