Lasheras thoroughly works the themes of hives into the characters’ daily routines. We see how Frank works within his alt media hive while Aaron is firmly implanted in his teen peer hive. The encroachment of the city onto their land mirrors the invasion of the area by aliens. It also repeats images of the consumption of prey, starting with the opening close-up of a large insect-eating a smaller one. This cumulates in an immense lobster broil, with live lobsters brought in from Nova Scotia by visitors. While festive, there are several repeated close-ups of shells being ripped and lobster meat pouring into mouths. The chomping on the lobster mirrors the upcoming chomping on humans, establishing a food chain that will suddenly have an extraterrestrial link. The Beehive is an artistic elevation of the invasion movie in the same way Melancholia was an elevated disaster movie.
The third act is horrifying, thanks to the excellent ramp-up. The practical effects used for the bug-eyed monsters are very corporal and potent. You have to respect a modern movie that takes the time and care to have honest-to-God giant monsters made by hand. The expert edits and angles increase the scare level by never letting the beasties be overseen or defined. What makes everything works so well during the actual invasion is the powerhouse performance by talented young Indigenous actress Kingfisher. She knows how to make you believe her world is being destroyed. The actor harnesses an intensity of abject terror few others can, all the more impressive for one so young. Add to this her spot-on work in the ordinary parts, and you have the firecracker acting job needed to make this movie fly.
“…harnesses an intensity of abject terror…”
Gibson also does excellent work here, visibly repressing his feelings while keeping it in his eyes. Call him if an Indigenous vampire lead in a dark romance is needed anytime soon. Sparrow, an Indigenous model doing her first major film, is a force of nature. She anchors the first foreshadowing of the dread factor with sincerity and maintains a natural and strong demeanor.
What is so wonderful about this explosion of Indigenous talent is how organic feels in the story. Lasheras, who is Matis, works the Indigenous representation seamlessly, maintaining a strong presence while keeping the story in focus. This almost feels like a film from a future era where it is completely normal to go to a theater to see Indigenous-made films with Indigenous leads. Maybe the future is now. The Beehive is the kind of film that uses art to make a pop genre picture that lives and breathes. Trust me; you need to taste some of its wild honey.
"…the future is now."