Film: Hive Mind

If you're looking for the trope of the same name, click here.

''Hive Mind'' is a 2009 independent horror film directed and co-written by Ladd Ehlinger Jr.

It's about a post-apocalyptic world, where humanity has been forcefully assimilated into a collective consciousness known as ''Hive Mind''. Well, most of humanity has. There have been rebels and hold-outs. This movie tells the story of one of them (apparently the last one left): Doug Trench.

Doug was once a radio talk-show host, and even has all his old equipment. He's hidden out for years, but now his food supply is almost gone. His apparent prospects are either to starve to death or surrender. He opts for another choice. He takes out his old radio equipment and makes one final broadcast... one last act of defiance before he's found and dealt with.

The bulk of this film deals with that broadcast as Doug relays what happened and how it could have been avoided. Interestingly, this is pretty much a one-man show. There are no flashbacks and almost no other characters. We just see Doug in his basement, making his broadcast, telling his story, and making the occasional wary glance at his three security monitors... although that changes in the final act.

As a story, it largely averts the oft-used rule of Show Don't Tell to the point of practically giving it the middle finger. As a character study, it plays that same rule rather straight as Doug reveals quite a lot about himself just in how he behaves.

Is this experimental approach effective? Well, the movie's one-man-show concept means that it relies almost entirely on the lead, Greg Trent; not just his talent as an actor, mind you, but also his abilities as an engaging storyteller. So, whether this film works as anything beyond an Author Tract depends on whether-or-not you think Trent's performance works.

If nothing else, Hive Mind may be a good way for any libertarian tropers out there to explain their beliefs to their non-libertarian friends.

This movie contains examples of:

  • Animal Motifs: Flies are heard buzzing whenever Doug suspects that Hive Mind may have discovered his hide-out.
  • Attack Its Weak Point: An arguably heart-breaking example; One of Hive Mind's tactics involves speaking to Doug via his daughter's voice. It backfires by making Doug fight back even harder.
  • Blatant Lies:
    Hive Mind: I am not a horror film. I am a romantic comedy.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Starts out as a snarky commentary on the current state of the film's world. Gets a lot more dramatic and scary as it progresses.
  • Creator Cameo: Zack is actually a picture of Writer/Director Ladd Ehlinger Jr.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Doug. Considering he's a radio personality, this isn't all that surprising.
  • Defiant to the End: Doug's defining personality trait.
  • Dirty Coward: It's indicated that Doug may have been one when we learn what happened to the real Zack. The particulars of why Doug abandoned him are never given.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Played with. Doug claims to have lost his faith when most of humanity was absorbed into the Hive Mind, and he's pretty caustic about everything. That said, he's still portrayed as the Only Sane Man (last sane man, really), and (despite his atheism) insists that the USA was founded on Biblical principles that the government should have done a better job of adhering to.
  • Jerkass: Beauty Babs and Hive Mind. For Hive Mind, it's more of tactic, while Babs is simply a mean person by nature.
  • Minimalist Cast: Well, if you count all the people who let their picture be used for the ever-changing Hive Mind interface screen (people who, it should be noted, are listed as cast members during the end credits), then this is averted. Otherwise, this trope is played pretty straight.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The climax. If the Japanese can use this trope on potato chips, it shouldn't be all that surprising that somebody went and did it with talking heads.
  • Sound Effect Bleep: Doug's radio equipment censors out all of his swears and even some of his non-swears. Oddly, it censors out "Christmas", but not "Christ".
  • Take That: At Barack Obama, consumerism, Apple, socialism, John McCain, That Other Wiki...and a whole lot of other things that would take up too much space if we listed them here.
  • Talkative Loon: Let's face it, regardless of whether you agree with his politics, you have to admit that Doug's not 100% alright upstairs. This is due to a combination of the fall of humanity and his years in isolation.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: In the film's climax, both Doug and Hive Mind try to do this to each other.