Fantasia Film Review: The Honor Farm

Life is just a dream.

TheHonorFarm_Still5

There is a lot of horror iconography in director and writer Karen Kloss’ film The Honor Farm. However, it’s hard to classify this as a horror film despite all the elements being there. It’s easy to classify it as a nightmare though, for reasons you’ll soon discover.

It starts simple enough, with prom being planned as the ritual of passage. A girl is waking up in a dentist chair. As she leaves, another woman wishes her a happy prom. It’s extremely close to a tribal ritual for Lucy (Olivia Applegate) and Annie (Katie Folger) who start by getting picked up by their dates on a limo in an evening planned all the way through including getting laid at the evening. However, their dates end up drunk out of their minds and ruining their fairytale night.

They have a choice to make now. They can stand by the gas station convenient store pretending to smoke or they can ride with Laila (Dora Madison) in a Hearse, who has some hallucinogens to make this even more of a crazy night.

What follows next might as well be not happening at all. Consider if you will a group of misfits, nerds, outcasts and punks taking mushrooms, howling at the moon and the promise of a haunted building – the proverbial Honor Farm. There is somewhat of a light Lynch influence, mostly in the visuals. Almost an hour in and I started to question if this was going somewhere. Life is a journey, not a destination says one of our misfits, quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson – which our resident nerd identifies immediately. Take this as a cue for this movie’s goal.

The reality starts getting vague as Lucy falls for resident drug dealer JD (Louis Hunter). Are the guys really about to witness a human sacrifice? Did they really rescue a woman named Laura that all but disappears later? Is Lucy still sleep in the dentist chair? Probably, but more importantly – does it matter?

Lightly recommended with reservations. You won’t get a big gory horror payoff here, despite all the iconography shown. It’s very much a mushroom ride that ends how it began. If you want to know what was the point of it all, you’re not going to enjoy the movie. You’re expected to enjoy the journey and savor the visuals. Horror fans will want something with more bite. Lynch fans will want something with more depth.

That will do for now.

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