directed by Leigh Janiak
starring Rose Leslie, Harry Treadaway
Remarkably acted (not just for a horror movie) and excellently paced, Honeymoon is a slow-burning, thrilling, psychological nightmare. Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway play Paul and Bea respectively, a couple on their honeymoon out in a secluded lakehouse. Bea’s behavior one night starts to become extremely bizarre, leading Paul into mental struggle with a new wife trying to figure out an ominous enigma. The mystery that begins to unfold in Honeymoon is paced so well and effectively. Initially the relationship between the two is obviously loving and intimate, before slowly entering a territory of distrust and suspicion. And before the ending credits roll, questions suggested by the plot are answered in a wonderfully dark and disturbing manner.
Relying almost exclusively on the two main characters, Honeymoon delivers scares and chills through the atmosphere and tension built. As the bright and optimistic tone of the film early on transitions into darkness and isolation, the chemistry through the two main actors feels consistently natural. Even as the film begins to peak as a thriller, where often actors in horror movies fail to deliver believable hysteria and panic, Honeymoon continued to impress all the way to the end. Without spoiling anything, because it would be disservice to even share too much of the basic premise, the ending to the film is an appropriate and jarring conclusion.
While dark and unsettling, Honeymoon is well-made enough that it may even appeal to those that typically avoid harsh or jump-scare horror movies. It’s made very much in the same vein of other slow-burning thrillers such as The Witch (2015) or Creep (2014), both with similarly small casts and the senses of paranoia and isolation that are evoked. However, it has plenty of horror elements and disturbing moments that’ll appeal to horror fans. Overall, a great production with two great actors, and one of my new, recently-released favorites.