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John’s Horror Corner: Honeymoon (2014), Rose Leslie’s romantic, paranoid getaway to a cabin in the woods.

May 9, 2016

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MY CALL: Excellent acting, writing and scenery breathe life into this intensely paranoid indie horror in which matrimonial trust is tested. A must see! MOVIES LIKE Honeymoon: Bite (2015), Spring (2015) and The Hallow (2015) all test relationships with monstrosities. There are other much more similar movies, but to merely identify them would spoil this movie. Although the tagline, IMDB summary and posters are a bit obvious and spoilerish already.

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First time writer/director Leigh Janiak does an excellent job introducing us to our recently married main characters Bea (Rose Leslie; Game of Thrones, The Last Witch Hunter) and Paul (Harry Treadaway; Penny Dreadful, Cockneys vs Zombies). They are the normal, sweet, likable and nuanced characters horror fans deserve.

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This film is in no rush. We take our time getting to know the newlyweds and, although they do honeymoon in a cabin in the woods, it’s not as secluded and troped up as it sounds. The role of the “harbinger” is understated and there is nothing campy to be found. Janiak is staging a proper horror film for us.

One night Paul finds Bea wandering naked in the woods and afterwards she just isn’t the same. She forgets how to make coffee and French toast, and becomes generally more distant whereas prior to her nude midnight stroll they couldn’t keep their hands off each other. Something is clearly wrong and right away Paul knows it. He just doesn’t know what exactly is wrong…or why.

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As someone who has been in a few very serious relationships in my time, Bea’s odd behavior was palpably uncomfortable and it really hit home for me. I could only imagine the emotional terror Paul must have felt when Bea suddenly took such a change, and on their honeymoon no less! Their on-screen chemistry is strong, so it’s all the worse when the paranoia sets in.

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The effects are not abundant but they accomplish exactly what they need to, being weird and gross and slimy. Just the way I like them! Normally I’m more descriptive about effects, but they’re too integral to the story revelations and I don’t want to spoil it.  [At the end of this review, after the movie poster below, there are images depicting the special effects…I suggest you only look if you’ve already seen the movie.]

The acting is excellent, the atmosphere breeds unease, and this is among few movies that have made me nervous for the main characters. What a cool film. You should definitely catch it while it’s on Netflix.

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If I had one complaint it would be that the ending is completely unresolved. But it’s cool anyway. I want more films like this! And so does Mark, who also loved this film… Mark’s Review Here.

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