Sunday, 18 January 2015

If You Thought the Nuptials Were Scary! Honeymoon (2014) DVD Review

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

  I originally saw this when it came out in a limited release to the theatres in September and I remember digging it.  This is a very low key film and is a bit of slow burner but it has an ending that pays off pretty well.  I'm glad that I get another chance to check it out.

  Bea and Paul are newlyweds and they head up to Bea's family's cabin for their honeymoon, which is in Canada, eh.  When they arrive everything is perfect, they are in love, are alone and having a great time.  There is a mild squabble when they talk about having baby comes up but is resolved right away.
  So everything is good until they head down to the local eatery called "Restaurant" and discover an angry gentlemen there who tells them that they the "Restaurant" is closed and then he smashes a lamp to stress the point.  Luckily, Bea recognizes him as her old friend and "playmate", Will and he calms down and apologizes for this lamp smashing ways.  He gets them some food to go and Will's wife, Annie pops up.  She seems disoriented and Will tries to delicately manhandle her out of the dining area and gives the food to Bea and Paul.  They then walk back to their cabin with a feeling of unease and bad for Will's wife Annie, who seems to be in an abusive relationship.
  That night, Bea can't sleep because of the Will incident, but Paul puts her mind to rest with the promise of never being like that and a fresh fish breakfast. Mmmmm, yum! Paul's alarm goes off at the wrong time and  he discovers that Bea isn't in bed. Nor is she in the cabin at all, so he frantically searches the forest until he finds her naked and alone.  Well, hello... . I mean, she is dazed, confused and scared, so Paul brings her home and tries to get her to tell him what happened.  She has no idea and just wants to go to bed.  So, Paul puts a pin in it and everyone goes to bed.
  The next morning, Bea seems really off because she has forgotten how to make french toast and coffee.  Paul thinks it's weird but let's it go because of the shit that happened the night before.  They go out canoeing and Bea exhibits more strange behaviour, like jumping into the cold lake, which she wouldn't do the day before, and finding Paul's eating a large frog jokes not funny and considering them bad taste.  Bad taste no, not funny yes.  What seals the deal that there is something wrong with Bea, is that Paul overhears her thinking up excuses to not have sex with him and when he does try and have the sex, he hears the lines that she had memorized.  Also, he finds some weird bites on her upper thigh, which she claims are from mosquitoes, which are abnormally large in Canada, eh.   Will Paul ever discover what happened to Bea in the forest that night and will he be able to get the real Bea back or did something so evil, vile and ruthless do something to her that night, that there is no coming back from it?

  I enjoyed this film the second time around as much as I did the first time.  Director/co-writer Leigh Janiak puts together an effective sci-fi/thriller that will put shivers down your spine.  Janiak builds the tension up so much that when the story climaxes, you finally have a mild sense of relief, which is short lived because it leaves you with an uneasy feeling of, well what's next? 
 Also, after seeing it a second time, I noticed more of the transformation imagery that she uses carefully throughout the film.  This is effective because as Bea begins to change there are other things that change or morph into other things.  It's a nice touch or accent to the film in general.
 I still wish that Janiak went a little farther with the horror element of the picture.  There is a terribly gruesome scene that doesn't pull any punches near the end of the film, which is well done and graphic but I still wasn't 100% satisfied with the outcome and I wish that she would have taken it one step further.  I understand that she is leaving this element to the audiences imagination but part of me just wants to the the what's at the end of the cord.

  As for the features on the DVD, they are pretty standard.  There is an interesting interview with Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway.  They talk about the production, learning accents and the feel of the film. There is like 3 different versions of the trailer and a couple of amusing outtakes on the disc but I think the most interesting interview is with the director Leigh Janiak. She gives some good insight into her thought process in writing and directing the film and after watching it, I had a better idea of where she was going with it and better appreciation for the picture.
  I was surprised and disappointed that there wasn't an audio commentary during the film because I have come to really enjoy this aspect of owning the disc and hearing all the behind the scenes stories.  It's a shame especially after such a good interview with Janiak in the Extras area, I wanted to hear more about the filming.

  I think this a great film and a welcome addition to any collection.  More of a sci-fi thriller than horror but it still has enough blood and goo at the end for any gorehound.  It has an slow burn feel to it and the ending erupts in a haunting twisted wtf moment.  So, if your looking for a graphic tale of love and loss, than this DVD might be what you need.


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