The Horror Honeys: Honey Switch Month ~ 'The Lobster': We Dance Alone...

Honey Switch Month ~ 'The Lobster': We Dance Alone...

A Honey Switch Month Review with Sci-Fi Honey Linnie

The Lobster (2015)

When you watch films for a living, it's incredibly rare that you see anything original. Now, that's not to say a film can't be amazing, but almost every movie we see in 2016 will have been informed by something that came before it, be it an aesthetic, a director, or even a common story. So what do you do when you see a movie that is so totally original, it almost stops your blood from flowing?

You spazz over it for a while, revel in your confusion, and then demand that everyone see it, which is what I'm doing right now with Yorgos Lanthimos' The Lobster.

The Story: In the dystopian near future (please... not too near), single people are dropped off at The Hotel, where they have forty-five days to fall in love with another guest, or they will be turned into an animal of their choice. David (Colin Farrell) has just arrived at The Hotel with his dog/brother, and is finding it difficult to connect with anyone. Despite the fact that extra days can be added on to one's stay by shooting Loners (single people who refuse to adhere to the laws) in the woods with tranquilizer darts, David's time is running out, and his future as a lobster creeps ever closer.

When a film is as wholly original as The Lobster, it's almost difficult to talk about it coherently. As you settle in to the movie, you notice how flat everything is: The Hotel is beautiful, but it's beautiful like a conference center that you visit for work and then forget the minute you walk out the door. The cast is phenomenal: Farrell, John C. Reilly, Ben Whishaw, Rachel Weisz, Léa Seydoux... and yet when they speak, there is absolutely no affect to their voice. It's utterly unsettling. At first. But then you realize that there is a reason for the distance and the lack of emotion. The world of The Lobster is one in which people have ceased to feel anything anymore (and in fact, almost no one has even a name), and the concept that the cast somehow manages to perform without even a hint of emotion for the bulk of the movie is utterly stunning.

But at the heart of The Lobster is an indictment of the either/or nature of relationship culture: that life is not worth worth living unless you are coupled, or if you are single and free. At the mid-way point, the film's focus shifts from The Hotel to the woods where the Loners dwell, and it is here that Lanthimos' dual intentions become clear. Regardless of which side of the fence you reside, whether you are blissfully together or gleefully alone, it is not one person's right to judge the choices of another. It is judgment that truly breeds chaos, and The Lobster is a brilliant and simple metaphor for the dangers of adhering so strictly to the absolutes.

The Lobster is a strange film; it is a biting, charming, and at times, shocking, film. It doesn't wrap everything up in a neat little bow, and how you interpret the ending will depend a lot on where you are in your life. But The Lobster is, without a doubt, one of the most brilliant science fiction films I've ever seen. And it is a movie that will stick with you forever.

Trigger Warning: The Lobster features graphic scenes of animal violence. 
Plot relevant, but brutal just the same.

Revenge Honey Rating: 5 toaster torture sessions out of 5

The Lobster finished a festival run at the end of 2015,
but will be released in theaters in the US on May 13, 2016!

If you had to pick an animal to transform into, 
what would it be?
Tell Linnie on Twitter: @linnieloowho
(she'd be a manatee)