Monday, 22 September 2014

Honeymoon (2014)

Honeymoon (2014)
Director: Leigh Janiak
Starring: Rose Leslie, Harry Treadaway, and Ben Huber
Running Time: 87 min

Believe it or not, I know how hard and stressful it can be to plan a wedding.  To some, there is nothing scarier than getting all the preparations done or the service itself but once all the cake is eaten, then it definitely should be time to relax on the Honeymoon.  Unfortunately not here, first time director and co-writer Leigh Janiak has taken thoat breahing room and turned it on the its head for this young newlywed couple.

  Bea and Paul are in love and they just finished their reception, so they are excited to head off to a cabin in the woods to enjoy their Honeymoon.  They spend the first day doing what newly married couples normally do, fishing and taking a walk into the town to get some food for lunch.  When they get to the "Restaurant", it's seems deserted but luckily there is one person there and it happens to be Bea's ex-boyfriend, Will, who seems really grumpy.  Will starts to chill when he realizes it's Bea, but this level of calmness only lasts a few moments when Will's wife, Annie shows up looking like a battered doll.  Will gtrabs her by the elbow and asks Bea & Paul to leave.
  Paul & Bea get back to the cabin, talk about what could be wrong with Will & Annie and then go to sleep.  Later that night, Paul wakes up to find Bea gone from the bed and searches the house to no avail.  He heads out into the woods and finds her standing naked in the woods, scared and confused.  He brings her home, tries to find out what happened but she is resistant to tell him anything and she claims that she was just sleepwalking.  However the next morning, Bea seems really different, like she doesn't know how to make french toast or coffee and she doesn't think his lame jokes are funny.  Welcome to marriage, kid!  Anyway, these aren't the only things because Bea seems to be forgetting who she is as well and Paul notices her practicing lies about why she doesn't want to have sex and writing down what her name is.  Also, there seems to be a weird light at night and Paul thinks that there might be some sort of connection.  Can Paul save Bea and his marriage or has he lost Bea to some sort of outside force that he can't even begin to comprehend?

  This wasn't too bad, director Leigh Janiak creates an interesting slow boiling film that pays off pretty well in the end, well for the audience at least.  The pacing reminds me of T.I West's "The House of the Devil", where little weird things are happening in the beginning and the story really crescendos at the end.  The casting is very good and it's interesting to see Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones, Now is Good) as Bea, who seems more demure in this role but still with a feisty edge to her.  Also, Harry Treadaway (Cockneys & Zombies, Penny Dreadful) plays Paul, the loving and attentive husband, who is seeing the love of his life disappear and doesn't know why.  With such a limited cast, these two had the film on there shoulders and they both carried really well.

  However there a couple issues I did have with the film; I don't know if it was intentional but the lovey dovey newlywed thing does get a bit annoying at the beginning but maybe I'm old I forget how obnoxious love can be.  It's just a bit much, luckily it doesn't last that long.  **SPOILER** Also, when it starts to get gory, like when he's pulling that thing out of her vagina, there doesn't seem to be a payoff and it doesn't explain anything.  As far as I can tell nothing came out.  There should have been something, a baby demon, claws, an alien or a least a fucking ham sandwich!  Something that would let the audiences know what they are dealing with but it just ended up being reels of umbilical cord and looked like a cheap gag from "The Wizard of Gore".  Likewise, I've noticed in films lately, there are no explanations why but things just are the way the are.  Which is an interesting concept because it forces the audience to just except what has just happened and you are not going to find out why, who or what is going to happen next.  This is kind of how the film ends and I think it may be polarizing for people who see the film.  I do like the ending, but I would have liked to know more about what/who did this to Bea and why, but not enough to dislike it. It's more of a mild annoyance.  **END SPOILERS**

  Overall this is a good film that is definitely worth checking out.  I'm looking forward to seeing what's next for director Leigh Janiak because this is a terrific script that she created with co-writer, Phil Graziadei and I'm sure this isn't the only one.  There are definitely some intense and WTF moments going on here that will have you gripping the armrest, as well as some moments that you really feel for the Paul & Bea character, as their love and sanity slip further and further away from them.  So, if you want to avoid sleeping in a cabin after your wedding, watch Honeymoon with your potential mate and scare the idea out of their mind.

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