Starring Frank J. Aard, Mariah Brown, Anjali Alm-Basu
Directed by Josh Hasty
With all of the promise of a top-speed sports car, director Josh Hasty’s Honeyspider apparently came off the assembly line with a VERY light gas pedal because this thing never got out of the starting gate and failed to make it around the track before sputtering to an uneventful stop.
The year is 1989, and we follow the everyday travails of Jackie Blue (Brown), and other than being a decent song from the 70’s, she’s just your ordinary moody soon-to-be-adult who’s content to celebrate her upcoming birthday, which just happens to fall on Halloween, very uneventfully. Her adjustment to college hasn’t taken off the way she’s wanted it to, and aside from holding down a sleepy concession stand job at the local movie theater, her life isn’t much more than work and school. Throw in some odd symbols that appear in rather unsuspecting spots, and the hairy, crawling presence of tarantulas (people who fear arachnids should NOT take part in this film), topped off with the skeevy, stalkish presence of an overly creepy college professor (Aard), and we’ve got the ingredients for an interesting premise… right? Maybe? Yeah, maybe not. The biggest killer here (no pun intended) is the film’s pacing – just when you think you’re gaining some form of traction, the tires continue to skid.
Even the addition of a Halloween 6-like cult can’t seem to toss this one a lifeline, and even though the opening parts of the film are a nice watch, slow and plodding, the movie never seems to escape that far-off display that it showcases so nicely right off the bat. With each separate piece that was written, and for all intents and purposes could have been mainlined into its own direction, they all split off of each other and leave you with a look on your face as if you were attempting to interpret a road map from another country.
Hasty’s direction is a refreshing look at what should be a style worth mentioning in the future, but this particular endeavor just couldn’t hit the mark for me. That’s not to say that this flick might not appeal to some of the slow-burning horror aficionados out there, but this moved a little TOO slow, and with the ramble of pathways that we’re forced to follow (and all those damned spiders), Honeyspider simply swung and missed.