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Honeymoon: A Fantastic Horror Film That Builds Tension and Creates Likable Characters

March 6, 2015

Honeymoon movie poster

Horror movies are so much better when you like the characters being harassed. It is a very simple formula. When you add likable three-dimensional characters to a terrible situation you become invested.

You know a movie is good when you can remember the character names. Whether it be a villain (Leatherface, Freddy, Jason, Norman Bates or those damn birds) or a survivor (Laurie Strode, Ripley, Rosemary, Ash) you know the people made an impression when you can remember their names. I just watched the terrible film Annabelle and I don’t remember any of the character names and am actively trying to forget the name Annabelle.

That being said I felt really bad for Bea (Rose Leslie) and Paul (Harry Treadaway). They are a likable newly wed couple who simply want to spend a week in a remote cabin. What could go wrong? What director/co-writer Leigh Janiak does well is use her location and excellent actors to perfection. Leslie and Treadaway have a lived in chemistry that feels real which allows the proceedings to break your heart and make you cringe. The stripped down and streamlined aesthetic of this indie film works fantastically with the two character story.

Honeymoon Rose Leslie

 

Their honeymoon moves along swimmingly until one night when Paul finds Bea standing hypnotically in the woods. She starts acting differently and forgetting how to do the most mundane things. She can’t make coffee, doesn’t understand the basics of French toast and won’t make love to her husband. Things only get more depressing as the film movies towards its inevitable yet unexpectedly squishy finale.

The film hit home with me because I am a recent newlywed and couldn’t imagine going through this scenario. If a body snatcher infects my wife with something funky I would be destroyed. How do you deal with that? Especially, when the person is there but not really there. Honeymoon plays with your emotions via solid acting and an adherence to tension.

Rose leslie worm

Little horror films like Honeymoon don’t come around very often. They take a familiar subject (body snatching) and make something original out of it. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel but it gets a lot of mileage out of its story. Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway fully commit themselves to whatever is thrown their way and they draw you in with their chemistry. First time feature director Janiak handles the tension building well and you can tell she has thought this movie out with great detail.

Watch Honeymoon. Hate squishy things. Hope Leslie holds her own in the upcoming Vin Diesel witch hunter movie.

 

 

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