Los Angeles, CA – January 18, 2018 –
“As products of our past, can we find answers to our present conflicts in that past? Or will our past entrap us, inhibiting our personal growth?” – Krystine I. Batcho, Ph.D.
As TriCoast Entertainment’s DVD+VOD release of Jeff Kopas (“An Insignificant Harvey”, “Dogasaur”, “The Other Side”) and Doug Taylor’s (“Splice”, “A Christmas Horror Story”, “Darknet”) newest Canadian psychological thriller, “BLOOD HONEY”, is quickly approaching later this month, psychologists and psychiatrists across the U.S. states are demanding exclusive screeners as each attempt to untangle the troubled mind of Jenibel Heath (Shenae Grimes-Beech).
“BLOOD HONEY” is an indie and elevated psychological thriller following Jenibel on her return for the first time in 10 years to her family’s secluded island lodge, where she witnessed her mother commit an awful suicide. Her return prompts her childhood trauma to re-emerge and her mental health begins to deteriorate with breakdowns and hallucinations, unable to grasp the difference between reality and her current living nightmare.
As TriCoast Entertainment begins to launch “shrink wrap”, a specialized psychologist analysis providing ‘shrink’s commentary’ – one in which they provide an accredited professional and psychological point of view into Jenibel’s mind, self and experiences throughout the film, applying it to real-world psychology and providing new insight into overall mental health to assist in raising awareness.
Delving deeper into the psychological aspects of “BLOOD HONEY”, Professor at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York, Krystine I. Batcho, Ph.D., headlined her shrink wrap’s psychological analysis of the film as “When Secrets from the Past are Unleashed: A Review of Blood Honey”.
“When Secrets from the Past are Unleashed: A Review of Blood Honey”
By: Krystine I. Batcho, PhD
Date: December 18, 2017
The thriller, Blood Honey, keeps the audience in suspense with a plot that interweaves questions about the personal qualities of the characters and ambiguity about events in the past. The protagonist, Jenifer Heath, is presented as an adult experiencing the traumatic aftermath of having witnessed her mother’s suicide when she was a child. She returns to her childhood island home at the request of her dying father. As the film unfolds, Jenibel is portrayed as an increasingly more complex, psychologically compromised character.
Over the course of the film, Jenibel displays characteristics associated with serious mental illness, including aspects of posttraumatic stress disorder and episodes of psychosis. She experiences distortions of perception in the form of hallucinations and confusion in the form of delusional thinking. Such difficulty in distinguishing between what is real and what is not is a key feature of episodes of psychosis. As Jenibel struggles to remain grounded in reality, vivid images from her past intrude upon her present, resulting in her mistaking objects and people in her present with those from her childhood. As reality morphs into distorted imagery, paranoid thoughts take control of her mind.
The film portrays Jenifer as a person who battles issues emanating from more than one childhood traumatic event. She suffered not only the loss of her sister, Linda, but also her mother’s consequent suicide. The intensity of the negative impact of the deaths can be attributed to the backdrop of a controlling, emotionally abusive father and the implied blame placed on Jenibel for her role in those deaths. Guilt is an essential part of Jenifer’s deteriorating mental health. Her effort to alleviate her guilt is clear in keeping her sister alive in her distorted reality and her desperate attempt to escape the island with her. Even more dramatically, guilt and posttraumatic stress culminate in conflicts in identity. In her distorted flashbacks, Jenibel experiences dissociative episodes during which she adopts the identity of her mother. When she imagines herself as her mother in the act of suicide, her sense of guilt has intensified to a degree that prompts her to imagine that she, the one responsible for Linda’s death, should have died, not her mother.
Central to Jenibel’s deterioration is her inability to resolve major conflicts that prevent her from achieving a full recovery. On the one hand, Jenibel clearly hungers for change. She wants to relinquish the heavy burdens of her traumatic past and begin anew. On the other hand, the desired change is anxiety provoking, and she believes that she must return to her past to find forgiveness and resolution. Her conflict is reflected in her sister’s insistence that they must stay on the island, while her father demands the sale of the property, because it’s “time to set everybody free.” Jenifer knows that change is necessary to be released from her past, but she can’t embrace that change until she atones for her past. With the death of her father, she no longer has anyone to atone to. Rather than resolving her issues, she retreats to the past in search of an emotional anchor to ground her out-of-control delusions and hallucinations. The film raises important questions about the relationship of our past to our psychological wellbeing. As products of our past, can we find answers to our present conflicts in that past? Or will our past entrap us, inhibiting our personal growth?
To what extent does Blood Honey reflect mental illness accurately? The film dramatizes the emotional suffering of untreated severe mental illness. As reality-testing becomes compromised and perceptions and thoughts distorted, mental illness threatens Jenibel’s sense of control and identity. Is the film’s presentation of Jenibel’s downhill spiral realistic? A background of multiple traumatic experiences and emotional abuse would make a person vulnerable in the event of extreme stress. In the film, the isolation of the island, without easy return transportation, would contribute to a growing sense of losing control. A lengthy stay could mean an interruption in treatment for underlying emotional distress. The return to the childhood home could trigger flashback memories of childhood abuse and trauma, with their accompanying emotions of fear, guilt, and loss. Revisiting the past can be therapeutic when guided and supported during the course of treatment. Being confronted by a painful past abruptly in a non-supportive atmosphere can reawaken and intensify unresolved issues without the resources to cope with them effectively.
The presentation of mental illness in Blood Honey mirrors the situation faced by many people who suffer with a disorder or live with someone who does. Lacking information, understanding, and empathy, many people fear and avoid those they suspect have some form of disorder. The stigma attached to mental illness has not yet disappeared. Many films reinforce existing stereotypes of mental illness that perpetuate the negative stigma and fuel people’s fear of the mentally ill. It is very difficult for people to understand how it feels to suffer from mental illness. By having the audience experience events from Jenibel’s perspective, Blood Honey helps people gain a clearer sense of the nature of a debilitating disorder.
The film serves the purpose of entertainment as a psychological thriller, keeping the audience guessing until the end. On a societal level, this film raises awareness of the need for greater sensitivity to and resources for dealing more effectively with psychological disorders. Viewers will acquire a richer understanding of the importance of healthy childhood experiences and timely intervention in the event of adversity.
About Krystine I. Batcho, Ph.D.:
Krystine Batcho, Ph.D., is a professor at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, New York. She studies nostalgia; she has found that people who are prone to nostalgia excel at maintaining personal relationships and choose healthy social ways of coping with their troubles. She developed the Nostalgia Inventory Test, which measures how often and how deeply people feel nostalgic. Her tool has been translated into multiple languages, including Chinese, Polish and Spanish. Author of Longing for Nostalgia.
Starring Gil Bellows, film-famous for the 1994 classic, “The Shawshank Redemption” and a fabulous Canadian cast and crew, Shenae Grimes-Beech (CW’s “90210”, “Degrassi: The Next Generation”) shines in her emotional role showcasing the psychological tolls one faces when suffering an inescapable type of trauma. Alongside stars Krystal Hope Nausbaum as Jenibel’s sister suffering from Down Syndrome, who utilized her real-life experiences living with the disease to become a role model in her community through her pivotal roles in “The Rainbow Kid” and “Between”.
The stellar talent in “BLOOD HONEY” continues with performance from Kenneth Mitchell (“Star Trek: Discovery” – TV series, Freeform’s “Switched at Birth”, “Jericho”, “The Astronaut Wives Club”), Don McKellar (“The Sensitive Skin”, “Blindness”, director of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”), Morgan Kelly (“A History of Violence”, “Being Erica”, “The Lookout”), Natalie Brown (“How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days”, “Dawn of the Dead”, “The Strain”), and Rosemary Dunsmore (“Orphan Black”).
Watch Jenibel face the inescapable memories from her childhood trauma until the end for the world’s ultimate film plot twist moviegoers haven’t seen in a long time. Watch the trailer here: https://vimeo.com/217438652 and for more information about “BLOOD HONEY”, please visit the film’s official site: www.bloodhoneymovie.com.
“BLOOD HONEY” will be available on DVD + VOD platforms on January 29th, 2018: iTunes, Sony Xbox, InDemand, Sling, DISH, GooglePlay, Hoopla, Fandango and Vudu.
If you are interested in reviewing ‘Blood Honey’ and/or would like to organize an interview with the cast and crew, please contact email@example.com. Please contact for additional questions and resources such as screener requests.
BLOOD HONEY (2017, 95 min.) Directed by Jeff Kopas. Written by Jeff Kopas and Doug Taylor. Editor: Mike Reisacher. Cinematographer: D. Gregor Hagey. Original Music: Amin Bhatia. US, English. Lumanity Productions, Manitouwabi Films, Vitality Media Productions, TriCoast Entertainment.
PRODUCTION COMPANIES: Lumanity Productions, Manitouwabi Films, and Vitality Media Productions
About TriCoast Entertainment:
A new home for story-driven American films, TriCoast Entertainment is a full service media company that creates, produces, manages and distributes unique and unusual entertainment. Bringing together filmmakers, distributors, financiers, and technologists, TriCoast Entertainment embraces change by redefining the production and distribution model for indie filmmakers, providing them with low cost tools, financing, and worldwide theatrical and digital distribution, along with market feedback and storytelling opportunities tools, financing, and worldwide theatrical and digital distribution, along with market feedback and storytelling opportunities.
Company Name: TriCoast Entertainment
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