September 15, 2014

VOD Review: Honeymoon (2014)
Being fans of both Game of Thrones (HBO), and Penny Dreadful (Showtime), we were instantly excited about the prospects of this movie; Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway were great in their roles on those shows, so they should both be equally great in a quiet, chilling little Horror flick like this one, right?

Well, yes. Turns out we were right about that.

It turns out that we were also right about Honeymoon being a chilling effort, because it truly was. 

As a Genre, Horror can always use more smart, creative movies like this, even if they aren't as perfect as you'd hoped they'd be. Like this one.
Paul and Bea are young newlyweds who are completely, hopelessly in love with one another; we know this because they call each other silly little nicknames and fawn over every little thing that the other does, much like kids in Middle School do:

"I love you, Honeybee!"
"Bzz, bzz, bzz"
"You're the cutest bee ever, Bea, and I am abuzz with love for you!"

Good God, make it stop!

They also really love cinnamon rolls. Like, REALLY.
The happy couple decides to spend their Honeymoon at Bea's family cottage, which promises them the solitude that they need to make love endlessly, like two people who are really, really in love do.They make cute breakfast together, make love, go cute fishing, make love, make love in the shower, make love, play cute Yahtzee, make love... so, typical Honeymoon stuff.

Wow, a bit early to call him out on his small dick, dontcha think, Bea?
One night, Paul wakes up at 3am (?) to go fishing and finds Bea missing. He searches for her in a panic, eventually finding her naked and afraid in the woods. She says she was sleepwalking, but he's pretty sure that she was out there with her ex-boyfriend, because that sounds both rational and fairly plausible. The next day when Paul finds her special nightgown in the woods, all torn and covered with jizz, he begins to suspect that something isn't quite right...

Hey man, we just call it like we see it, and what we see here is jizz.
As Bea's behavior becomes increasingly odd, Paul begins to flip out, and tries to discover the truth about what happened to his blushing bride in the woods, and exactly who or what is responsible for the spunk on her nightgown. Was it Demons? Was it Aliens? Was it her creepy Ex-boyfriend? Was it a Bear? We won't spoil anything for you here, but suffice it to say that no matter what the answer is, Paul should have just filed for an annulment, and moved on with his life.

Or, he could just hide. That would solve everything.
For all its faults, Honeymoon is an effective little... Thriller. We say Thriller, because to divulge what type of movie it truly is at its heart, would spoil the whole thing for you. Then again, it's not hard to guess what type of movie this is, and what's going on with Bea after her late night trip into the woods, but still, we won't be the ones to ruin it for you.

Honeymoon is definitely a slow burn, and you have to wait until the third reel for the "real" scares to kick in, but at least what comes before the late payoff is well acted, and had a good pace about it. Leigh Janiak delivered a stylish and fairly polished final product here, on what we have to assume was a modest (micro) budget, and this movie looks and plays just as well as most bigger Hollywood efforts of the same kind do. 

Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway are believable as the newlywed couple, and likable for the most part, even if their exploits in the early going wore a bit thin on us. In the end though, we cared about what happened to them, and as things went from bad to worse, we found ourselves fully invested in what they were going through, and wondering how (if) they would escape it.

"You know nothing, new husband."
It got a bit annoying having to watch Bea and Paul alone, in a cabin, as their relationship went from saccharine sweet bliss to panic-inducing dread.

To be fair, most of the annoying bits happened early on in the movie (before things went to complete shit for the couple), but early or not, we still had to suffer through their baby talk and silly shows of affection, which is never fun in any sort of movie. We get it, they're young, dumb, and in love, but good Lord can we just tone down the blatant fawning a bit?

We don't much care for people like that in real life, and even less so in the movies we watch.

Yes, Rose, tone it down a bit!
So was the whole movie an allegory about the uncertainty of marriage, and how you don't really know who you're involved with, even when you think you do? It sure felt like that's the message that Honeymoon was pushing on us, and if so, it felt pretty heavily telegraphed.
Look, I'm not necessarily saying that Honeymoon is a movie that is trying to send a message, I'm just saying that at times, it certainly felt that way... and when it did, it was off-putting.

Dude, you're married now. You don't have to be a creep about it.
Honeymoon isn't necessarily a gory affair, but it does offer up a few disturbing & bloody scenes that made us flinch. One scene in particular (you'll know it when you see it) really had us squirming in our seats.

There's all kinds of lovey-dovey canoodling and lovemaking in this one, and even a shower scene, but none of it is terribly graphic.

Honeymoon is more lovey-dovey than it is sexy-wexy.
Stay single. Also, when it comes to your Honeymoon (or any vacation, for that matter), stay the hell out of the remote woods, because you'll die there. Maybe just go to Vegas or something.

They have pools in Vegas, you know.
Honeymoon is a tense, creepy exercise in uncertainty and panic, which for the most part, works really well. If you can overlook the movie's weaker bits, you'll most likely enjoy the rest of what this one has to offer. Honeymoon is definitely worthy of a rental, but if you're lucky enough to be in one of the few cities where it's actually playing in a Theater, then see it that way. We have to imagine that it would be fun to watch with a crowd.


Honeymoon is available on VOD & in select Theaters now.

We'll miss Rose Leslie on Game of Thrones, but at least now we know that we'll be seeing her in plenty of Post-Westeros movies, because she was great in this one.


  1. great review, didnt like the film as much as you but that comment on the couple being annoying; AMEN! jesus they drove me CRAZY!!!! I was getting so bloody irritated watching them, so i think they were part of the reason why i didn't like it as much haha

  2. The first minutes were able to etablish them as a couple REALLY in love with each other. Yeah, silly behaviour and baby talk. For everyone else besides the couple this must be annoying but this was an effective way to make me care for them when things went downhill.

    Certainly, everybody walking into the theater or watch this movie any other way knows that there will be deaths. With a remote cottage involved, there must be some deaths, one or the other way. I would have liked some more SFX when that happened but at a whole this was a good suspense thriller. I agree with a grade B.

  3. Jack- At least their "annoying" qualities tapered off after a while, once things got creepy. We feel your pain though.

    Any Myra, it was absolutely an effective way to garner our sympathy for them, we just wish that the movie had been a tiny, tiny bit more subtle about it :)

  4. I had a pretty badass film week... Honeymoon, Curtains (Blu-Ray), Dead Within, Borgman, Kite, The Signal and a really odd one called Gut... On the whole, it was one of the better all-around film weeks Ive had in awhile with all those films pretty descent... and a couple that were GREAT!! (Dead Within, Kite & Honeymoon)

  5. Yes you did, JJ. So Dead Within and Kite were great? They're on our short list, so that's good news.

    Watched The Signal last night. Not sure if we're going to write that one up here -because reviews take a good block of hours to complete, all told- but it was definitely... interesting. Not gonna lie, it confused us a bit too lol

  6. Really enjoyed this movie! Thanks for the heads up.

    I agreed they were infuriating at the start but it would not have had the same impact if it didn't begin like that. I thought the guy turned into a massive creep soon after and I did not think the direction the movie took was obvious at all, always a big win in my eyes.

  7. The good things: 1. The acting was superb, particularly the actor playing the husband. 2. The director respected our intelligence by sparing us any cheap jump scares. 3. The photography gave us a sense of place. The bad things: 1. The question critics are throwing at us; 'how well do you know the one you love,' is a false one because he knows darn well who she is - the change takes place at the cabin. 2. While there were no jump scares, there wasn't any tension either. 3. When the light plays across them in the beginning, I knew it had to be 1 of 2 things and as it wasn't a secret, sinister government experiment, it was the other and I was right. 4. In the end what's the point? In the end they have control of 2 middle class females - so? If the point is control, that's a slow way of going about it and if it's for sex; then if you can't show us at least tell us that's the reason. I'd give it a 'C' but the way her delightful breasts moved in that bra in the beginning - oh, heck; 'C+'.