Honeymoon (2014 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Leigh Janiak|
|Music by||Heather McIntosh|
|Edited by||Christopher S. Capp|
|Distributed by||Magnolia Pictures|
Honeymoon is a 2014 American science fiction horror film directed by Leigh Janiak as her feature film directorial debut. The movie had its world premiere on March 7, 2014 at South by Southwest and stars Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway as a newly married couple whose honeymoon ends up being ruined by a series of strange events. The film received a wide release on September 12, 2014.
Bea (Rose Leslie) and Paul (Harry Treadaway) are newly married and off to have a romantic honeymoon in a rustic cabin set in a secluded forest. During their stay there, they go to a small restaurant where Will, the owner, initially acts hostile and asks them to leave, but later calms down, realizing he was Bea's childhood friend. Will's wife then comes in, acting strangely and saying they need to get away. Afterwards, everything goes normally until their wedded bliss is cut short when Bea goes missing. Paul finds her naked and disoriented in the woods with no evidence as to how she got there or why she was there in the first place. He takes her back to the cabin, where she claims she was sleepwalking due to stress, and tells him to make nothing of it.
As time passes, Bea's behavior becomes increasingly distant and strange. At first, Paul blames Bea's strange behaviour on some encounter with Will, but soon he realizes there's more going on. One night as Paul is lying awake, he sees some bright lights through the windows, but when he goes to investigate he finds nothing. As Paul sees his wife's behavior becoming more erratic he finds unique marks on Bea's inner thighs which she passes off as mosquito bites.
Paul, increasingly unsettled with his wife’s behavior, goes back to the restaurant to confront Will. He sees Will’s wife Annie outside behaving strangely, when pressed about Will’s whereabouts, says “He’s hiding”. When she leaves, Paul finds Will’s hat floating in the water.
Some time later during an argument, Bea locks herself in the bathroom, and when Paul breaks in he finds her repeatedly stabbing herself in the genitals. Paul then ties her to the bed and she asks him to "take it out of her". Paul puts his hand into her vagina and takes out a large worm-like creature. Bea later explains that the night she disappeared into the woods, she saw the same lights Paul had seen and couldn't help walking towards them. She then saw some silhouettes, which apparently impregnated her with the creature. Bea says that she is herself, but they're taking away what's left of her. She says she must protect Paul because they are going to "dispose of him". Bea then knocks Paul out, takes him into the middle of the lake on a boat, ties an anchor to his feet, and throws him to his death while believing that she is protecting him by "hiding" him under the water.
Bea is later shown to be deteriorating, her skin becoming white and flaky. She then meets Will's wife, and they walk away into the lights. The film finishes with Bea saying "Before I was alone, but now I'm not."
Planning for Honeymoon began in 2010, after Janiak viewed Monsters and Tiny Furniture, and she and Phil Graziadei began writing the script in 2012. While writing the film's script Janiak was inspired by the idea that "Even small moments though can drive a wedge between people" and with her writing partner, wondered "how far we could push them until they started falling apart." Janiak chose Rose Leslie to perform as Bea after viewing her performance on Game of Thrones. Principal photography began in spring 2013 and had a limited budget.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 73%, based on 48 reviews, with an average rating of 5.6/10. The site's consensus reads, "Smart, stylish, and nail-bitingly tense, Honeymoon packs more slow-building horror than many bigger-budget productions."
Shock Till You Drop gave Honeymoon a positive review, stating "Janiak demonstrates some wonderfully confident direction for a first-timer, utilizing space, sound design and two very good lead actors as her tools to slowly amplify the tension and mess with your head." Twitch Film also praised the film and called it "a good story, excellently told, and very, very scary." Meanwhile, Pop Insomniacs gave it a mixed review, saying that the film "isn’t going to blow your mind, or scare the crap out of you" but director Leigh Janiak "is clever enough to bank on these young stars and their explosive chemistry instead."
- "Honeymoon". Box Office Mojo. 23 October 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
- Turek, Ryan. "SXSW Exclusive: Leigh Janiak, Phil Graziadei Talk Honeymoon, Horror & Relationships". STYD. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- "The Women of SXSW: Honeymoon Writer/Director Leigh Janiak". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- Barone, Matt. "SXSW: The Festival's Creepiest Movie About (Doomed) Love is Also Its Most Inconspicuous". Complex. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- Dickson, Evan. "'Honeymoon' Director Leigh Janiak On Relationship Terror And Body Horror". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- "Honeymoon - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
- Turek, Ryan. "SXSW Review: Honeymoon a Perfect Marriage of Paranoia & Body Horror". STYD. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- Aldrich, Ryland. "SXSW 2014 Review: HONEYMOON Is All Parts Scare". Twitch Film. Retrieved 10 March 2014.
- Greene, Andy. ""Honeymoon" Review: Explosive Chemistry Saves Stock Premise". Pop Insomniacs. Retrieved 8 September 2014.