Honeymoon – a great claustrophobic indie thriller
Written by: Phil Graziadei and Leigh Janiak
Directed by: Leigh Janiak
Starring: Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway
It is quite an accomplishment to succeed in making an original movie in any genre. When you do so in the horror/thriller genre, now you’ve really got my attention. In her directorial debut, Leigh Janiak has done just that. Not that there aren’t familiar elements present. You’ve got a young couple on their honeymoon. The setting is a cabin in the woods. There is even a deep dark watered lake. Where Janiak succeeds is that she doesn’t allow “Honeymoon” to fall into the traps of using those elements conventionally.
The suspense throughout this wonderfully paced slow-burn psychodrama is provided in large part by it’s two stars. Bea (Leslie) and Paul (Treadaway) do an amazing job at both displaying natural chemistry and also the fact that their characters go from newly wed bliss to paranoia to chilling terror all in the span of 87 minutes. The slow deliberate pace makes the viewer constantly feel a sense of unease (in a good way), that carries all the way to the end.
Some have criticized “Honeymoon” for too many unanswered questions and having an oozingly slow pace. Admittedly it is not a perfect fit for those seeking a gore fest or something along the lines of “The Strangers” where you had a constant threat of violence. The tension is built over time with the use of strong acting and a well written script along with a truly haunting score.
I highly recommend this movie to anybody who enjoys dialogue and scenario driven suspense. It will be interesting to see what Janiak does next. Until then, watch “Honeymoon” and enjoy. I know I did.