HONEYMOON – Minimal Spoiler Review
Honeymoon is a new horror movie, and directorial debut of Leigh Janiak, starring Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones) and Harry Treadaway (Penny Dreadful) as newlyweds whose lake-country honeymoon takes a turn for the worse.
Young newlyweds Paul (Harry Treadaway) and Bea (Rose Leslie) travel to remote lake country for their honeymoon, where the promise of private romance awaits them. Shortly after arriving, Paul finds Bea wandering and disoriented in the middle of the night. As she becomes more distant and her behavior increasingly peculiar, Paul begins to suspect something more sinister than sleepwalking took place in the woods.
I’m sure if you’re a horror movie buff like me, Honeymoon has come across your timeline at least once seeing as it was hit when it debuted at SXSW and Tribeca this past spring. I happily stumbled across the trailer one day and while the casting is enough to garner lots of attention, the trailer had to be what hooked me the most. It’s very eerie and it’s very clouded as to what this movie actually is about. I do believe that it worked for this movie though. It was a great trailer and it made you so curious as to what the actual hell was going on, that you had to check it out. Fast forward a few months and finally, Honeymoon has hit theaters, iTunes, and On-Demand!
I honestly believe you shouldn’t read any reviews about Honeymoon before watching. The trailer and synopsis are just enough to grab your curiosity and attention without spoiling anything. (Even though spoiler wise, this movie isn’t full of them.) The film starts with the couple making there trek from the city to the woods, so they can spend there honeymoon camping in an old family cottage. I have seen people who haven’t watched Honeymoon call it, “Another cabin in the woods story.”, but I can safely say that that isn’t the case. The newly wedded couple slowly adjusts to the setting of being isolated from everything and it’s clear straight from the beginning that Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway have amazing onscreen chemistry. There onscreen relationship felt so real and not in anyway forced and I believe that is what drove the film. This movie without that bond between the two leads, would be nothing. Sooner or later, things start to just go bad… but this is a good thing. We then find Will (Ben Huber), after Paul and Bea go searching for an old restaurant, who apparently was an old childhood friend of Bea. From there first encounter, the audience can sense something isn’t right. May it be from his anger, to the weird smile Bea gives him, or his wife, Annie (Hanna Brown) who we know isn’t all acting normal. This scene plays out in such a weird way, you can’t help but be interested.
Lights. Almost every night, we see a light shine onto the house. We don’t know where this light is coming from, but trust me, it plays an important part (or so I think?). When all the clocks in the house go haywire one night, Paul finds Bea missing. After searching, she’s found naked in the woods. She claims she was sleepwalking, while Paul starts to believe she may have cheated on him with Will. This is exactly where the films mystery picks up.
Bea has changed, but into what? Paul finds she’s rehearsing her dialogue, she can’t remember how to make french toast or coffee. She’s become this self who isn’t present. Who isn’t her. We see different signs that give us hints that she isn’t Bea anymore. (We then find out all the same things have been happening to Annie.) She has this weird ooze coming from her body, she’s filled with “them” -trust me, it’s literal – and all she wants to do is hide Paul… in her own way. It never becomes clear as to what she is or who “they” are, but it’s all so fascinating, it kept you guessing throughout. The ending could be interpreted any way you’d like just because there is no actual proof as to what is going. Yes, I think we’d all agree that it is probably some alien type being. The director Leigh Janiak even said in a recent interview that she was hoping to make a modern day Body Snatchers. The only clues I could gather as to what all of the things happening to Bea could be, is from the poster. The tagline for the poster says, “After The Ceremony Come The Ritual.” and the background is the stars. Even though we hardly get any answers to our millions of questions, I don’t see that as a bad thing. It keeps you guessing and asking questions.
Fans of the scifi genre will love this film and cherish it. With strong performances, enough mystery to never get bored, and an ending that will keep you guessing, Honeymoon is a very refreshing film and is one of the best horror movie’s I’ve seen this year. While it did get a very limited release nationwide, I am sure this movie will become a cult classic. I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoyed Under the Skin.