Not every thriller needs to move at one hundred miles an hour to still work, and that was certainly the case with Max Strand’s (Freshman) new film, Goodbye Honey. Despite its more relaxed pace, it still manages to make for a tense ride.
Dawn, a truck driver, pulls into a state park to get some sleep when she is ambushed by Phoebe, a young woman who claims she is fleeing from an abductor. Dawn is wary of Phoebe’s story, leading to a struggle that leaves her phone broken, the keys missing, and nothing but darkness between them and help. As the night progresses, it becomes clear they are not alone. Bonding over a shared history of trauma, Dawn and Phoebe realize they must learn to trust each other if they want to survive a night full of unexpected twists and violent turns.
Goodbye Honey starts with tired truck driver Dawn (a great Pamela Jayne Morgan: Just Say Goodbye) pulling over in a state park rest stop to sleep. But before she can get any shut-eye, a frantic girl, Phoebe (Juliette Alice Gobin: Look at Me) knocks on her window. Phoebe claims she has just escaped from where she has been kidnapped. The women don’t exactly hit it off, and a grouchy Dawn is initially skeptical of Phoebe’s claims. It probably doesn’t help when Phoebe starts acting aggressively and paranoid. But the women find that they will need to come together to make it through the night if they want to survive.
There is a lot to like about Goodbye Honey. The acting is great, particularly from Juliette Alice Gobin who digs deep to capture Phoebe’s grit and fragile hold on her sanity. Pamela Jayne Morgan also does excellent work as Dawn. She provides a solid, stable foil for the more flighty Phoebe. I feel that the soundtrack in the film sets the overall tone of dread. I’m also a huge fan of films that mostly take place in one location (flashbacks aside).
My only real criticism of the film is that while I was intrigued by the concept of a slower thriller, this one moves a little too sluggishly. I like Dawn’s “slow down and take it easy” approach, but the film just a little goes lazily from the start. And there was a strange side story involving two young men that went on far too long.
Small flaws aside, this is a great low-budget film and certainly worth watching for the performances. Goodbye Honey is available now on Digital and VOD.