From the film’s IMDB.com page citation:
“A couple returns home from a night out to find two sadistic strangers waiting to terrorize them.”
For those willing to put in a bit of extra effort in thinking about the reasonably simple plot of The Hive, they might be rewarded with a minor discovery.
You see, it’s been suggested by some that the ‘Great American Dream’ is little more than getting married, owning a home, raising a few kids, and spending time experiencing life together. Well – as Fate would have it – it seems that the ‘Great American Dream’ is actually more of a ‘Universal Constant’ aboard the Jared Allmond written and directed film: an alien species from … from … well, from somewhere else has apparently set their sights on our Big Blue Marble. Instead of landing their ships all over the seven continents, they’re willing to patiently take each household one at a time – mirroring in no small way our preferred way of life – in the small but respectable motion picture.
Albie (played by Timothy Haug) and Penny (Christie Griffin) have what appears on the surface to be the ‘perfect life.’ They’re young. They’ve got their health. They’ve got each other. They’ve only just started building a family. Stricken with a bad case of writer’s block, Albie has lost his magic touch; and – like most men of a certain age – he believes a little quality alone time with Penny might help get his head on straight again. Imagine his and Penny’s surprise when they return home from a night on the town to find another couple has taken up residence in their home. When the police and neighbors won’t help, it becomes clear to the young couple that they’ll have to take matters into their own hands if they’re to both return to a sense of normalcy and (gasp!) survive the night.
So it’s also safe to suggest that audiences have seen Science Fiction and Fantasy stories like The Hive many, many, many times before. That fact alone doesn’t dismiss the relevance and timeliness of its message, but it might have viewers questioning why Allmond didn’t put a little more in it. Performances are good – nothing all that revelatory, though Julianne Ruck and Miles Taber probably had a bit of fun crafting two villainous ‘will they / won’t they’ invaders with special powers of touch and a (cough cough) burgeoning appetite for human sex – and the pacing works just fine. There’s no escaping the reality of the ‘been there done that’ aspect to all of it, and a tighter script might give the feature a chance at wider discovery: today’s short attention spans might have audiences reaching for the fast-forward.
If there’s any weakness to all of what’s delivered, then this long-time SciFi junkie would have to question why these aliens – who seemingly abduct mankind family-by-family – haven’t quite figured out that our species isn’t The Hive they think we are. Ours is a civilization of staunch individuals, so just how long do they plan on taking over the world by going door-to-door? Seems like – what with technology and all that – there’d be a vastly simpler way of achieving planetary domination. If not? Well, then are they truly any higher up the food chain than we are?
Make no mistake: while I enjoyed The Hive (2023) for what it was, that’s largely because I pride myself on pursuing my own dream of being one of the Web’s best and most trusted sources on All Things Genre, making me a bit of a homegrown aficionado of such screen fare. And, yes, I have seen this story before in many iterations. Still, it’s nice to have it percolated on a small scale every now and then because it reminds those of us who watch closely that there’s a timelessness to Science Fiction and Fantasy. It doesn’t take a George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, or a Michael Bay budget to traffic in this realm … and that’s something I wish more storytellers understood as well as Allmond does.
In the interests of fairness, I’m pleased to disclose that the fine folks at HAUG MGMT provided me with complimentary streaming access to The Hive (2023) by request for the expressed purpose of completing this review. Their contribution to me in no way, shape, or form influenced my opinion of it.