My 2 Cents on Honeymoon

Premise: “A newlywed couple finds their lake-country honeymoon descend into chaos after Paul finds Bea wandering and disoriented in the middle of the night.”

There’s plenty to enjoy about the 2014 horror sci-fi movie Honeymoon, even with its imperfections. The slow-burn pacing builds up a creeping tension that left me uncomfortable for the majority of the movie. Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway are splendid at radiating a joyful and lovey-dovey air as Bea and Paul, and they’re equally great at showing the characters’ descent into the throes of anxiety. Cinematographer Kyle Klutz is adept at moving the camera in a way that familiarizes us with the newlyweds’ rustic cabin and amps up the claustrophobic setting. Composer Heather McIntosh’s ethereal score enhances the eerie mood even further.

When it comes to the thematic core, that’s where I start to struggle with it. The reviews I’ve been looking up for this have all seemed to fall into one of two camps: the allegory it’s telling is cleverly ambiguous enough that we can pull multiple interpretations from it and enjoy how much food for thought it’s providing, or it’s messy and leaves us wishing the writing could have been tweaked in certain areas to make it feel like the movie knows what it wants to say. Right now, I’m stuck somewhere in the middle, but also leaning towards the latter camp. Writer-director Leigh Janiak and writer Phil Graziadei clearly have things to say about childbirth and parenting—not only the experiences themselves, but also the anxieties surrounding them and the impact they can have on relationships. Maybe I’ll change my mind as time passes and I’m able to let this movie sink into my head, but I’m currently feeling like the script could have been tightened up so that I’m not left with these threads of confusion worming their way through my brain.

Overall, Honeymoon could do with some more thematic clarity, but it pursues a road of indie horror that I think is worth checking out.

Until next time, stay healthy and stay strong!

Windup score: 70/100

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