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Like if Jenny Holzer wrote film reviews. The Parallax Review is a website dedicated to dissecting movies in terms of cultural context, ideology, aesthetics, and more. From Stalker to Hackers and beyond! Run by your girl, @okaythanksmaria

Honeymoon (2014)

 


This review is part of a series: 31 Days of Horror Directed by Women.
 
Alright, let's hammer out some thoughts on this little self-contained horror. Honeymoon is about two cishet people who are disgustingly in loveI mean, really just laying it on thick with the horny interactions. Like, we get it, you guys have sex. No one fucking cares. It's a good thing I knew this was going to go south (it being a horror movie and all), otherwise I'd have turned that shit off. So yeah, the first fifteen or so minutes does a great job of establishing a believablealbeit completely sickeningromance between Bea (Rose Leslie) and Paul (Harry Treadaway). They're honeymooning in Bea's secluded family cabinit's fun and quirky, like everything from the 90s feels when you're a millennial. We watch as they make cute breakfasts together and talk about their future with optimism. Their newly wedded bliss quickly takes a turn, however, when the couple stops into a store in town and have a really awkward run-in with Bea's middle school ex and his wife.
 

 
I really didn't want to like this movie. It feels low budget because it is low budget, and as a bougie gal, I simply don't have the time for budgetslow, or otherwise. To my pleasant surprise, Honeymoon makes the most of it's woodsy, contained atmosphere, and takes some weird conceptual turns that mostly work. This movie's a smooth 87 minutes, so it doesn't take long for things to escalate after Paul discovers Bea sleepwalking in the woods one night. The next morning, she seems like a totally different person, and we spend the rest of the film watching him lovingly struggle to re-connect with his wife who is suddenly acting like a complete stranger.
 

 
There really isn't much to say beyond that as I don't want to spoil the strange little path Honeymoon's characters travel down. Suffice it to say, director Leigh Janiak really makes a statement with her first feature, and though I'm not sure I totally understand where it all ends up, it is quite a chilling journey. There aren't any scares, per se, but there is some yucky body horror, and a genuine sense of unease. The leads actually do such a great job of establishing their love connection in the beginning of the film that the details of this couple's unraveling are quite shocking, even though we barely know anything about them. I'd love to see more small, exploratory works of horror like this in the future. It's been six years since this debuted and it doesn't look like Janiak has made a follow up feature; I can't even click on her name when I go to the film's Wikipedia page. Nevertheless, Honeymoon is a solid scary movie that will certainly leave an unpleasant feeling in the pit of your stomach long after the credits roll.

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