The Honor Farm
Directed by Karen Skloss
On prom night, a group of kids wander deep into the woods and come back changed forever.
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★★★½ review by Sean McGee on Letterboxd
The debut feature length effort from writer and director Karen Skloss, and an official selection from the 2017 SXSW Film Festival, the Honor Farm is a mind bending coming of age tale that forces the viewer to pay attention and, more importantly, to understand the mind of its protagonist.
Lucy (rising indie star Olivia Grace Applegate) has been looking forward to prom all year, but a humiliating public moment from her date ruins what could have been the perfect night. She and her best friend Annie (Katie Folger) are invited to a night out at a supposedly haunted prison on the outskirts of town, dubbed the Honor Farm by locals, by a group of outcasts. It this there that, during the course of a single night, Lucy's eyes are opened to many things including herself.
Clocking in at a breezy hour and fourteen minute running time, Honor Farm is quick to pull you into its psychedelic trip that's laced with existential questions about the importance of life and one's place in it. It doesn't waste time pondering any great meaning, and instead leaves the viewer to question what they experienced alongside Lucy and her friends.
While one could see the scant running time as a detriment to the narrative, Skloss clearly sees it as a boon. The effective casting, intimate direction, and memorable alt rock soundtrack all serve to create something that will leave viewers talking about what they personally experienced, and isn't that point of any good film?
★★★★½ review by Ali Chappell on Letterboxd
This is EXACTLY what happened to me at prom. I felt this movie too hard.
★★★½ review by MrBishop on Letterboxd
I can see peoples frustrations with this film if they thought they were going in thinking it was gonna be a horror film. It most certainly is not.
If you go in wanting a film about a night in the life of some kids doing shrooms and finding themselves, then you'll be more on the mark. I think it nailed that whole angle of that time in life. I had nights like this. NO I didn't stumble upon satanic masses, but those nights where you take shrooms and go on an adventure that seems like it's never gonna end.
Not bad at all. It's well shot, the effects are cool and subtle, soundtrack is great, and the acting for kids is pretty good.
★★★★ review by gottawatchitall on Letterboxd
I really liked this one. It was a slow burn, and very deep. I’m not really sure what happened at a certain point however I don’t think that mattered to me. I felt aesthetically charged watching this and a lot of the dialogue contributed to the mood and over all purpose of this film. It’s a thought piece that is trancedental in its meaning.
This one is not for everyone but I enjoyed it.
★★★½ review by Armando Sanchez on Letterboxd
If David Lynch decided to make a hypnotic-coming of age/fairy tale about sexuality, friendship, life and death...it would look a lot like Karen Skloss' film, THE HONOR FARM. If you cannot handle slow burn horror, or be patient with the horror itself, then THE HONOR FARM is definitely not for you. The film is about a couple of kids on prom night, who stumble into the woods, as they experienced life-changing occurrences/circumstances. Up and coming director, Karen Skloss is definelty a talent I'll be keeping an eye out for, as THE HONOR FARM is beautiful looking film, with some very creepy/eerie images that will make you think after the film ends. The film was made for a very low cost, but that doesn't stop Karen Skloss from creating such a haunting, yet so beautiful film. THE HONOR FARM is a film I may never watch again, not because I didn't like it, but because I always want to remember the experince of my first time viewing this hypnotic, creepy, and dream-like film that will make you think about life, death, and dreams. This is a film that will not be for everyone. I can already see this film being called "boring" or "slow" but that's okay, but because the experince itself is worth it. For those who don't need gore and jump scares to be afraid/entertained...this film is just for you. THE HONOR FARM is not a in-you're-face type horror film, but it is one that I highly suggest you check out.
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