A classic example of throwing every cliché in the book at a psychological horror film: attractive newly weds, house in the country, dark woodlands, flashing mysterious lights, weird neighbours with secrets to hide and secrets from the past. At times I was unable to work out whether it was being played for laughs and there were certainly several laugh out loud moments but as they came at what were supposedly climactic moments I am unsure how intentional they actually were.
Starring Harry Treadaway and Rose Leslie –who are both excellent at capturing the supposed annoying smugness of their almost caricatured characters- as newly weds Paul and Bea who have decided to use the latter’s family hideaway in the middle of nowhere as their honeymoon retreat. Of course the idyllic surroundings immediately suggest ominous happenings and sure enough at an early encounter with neighbours Will and Annie it is clear that something is amiss. Matters are complicated by the fact Will was Bea’s childhood sweetheart and it is clear that even this brief encounter unsettles her though we are never told why.
Shortly after this brief meeting Paul awakes in the night to find Bea missing from bed and after a frantic search in the woods finds her naked, disorientated and in an obvious state of distress. Attempting to explain this situation away as merely sleepwalking it becomes clear however that something more sinister has actually occurred through radical changes in her personality and she becomes almost unrecognisable; even to herself as she has to keep writing notes to remind her who she is.
Directed by Leigh Janiak Honeymoon never establishes enough of its own identity to stand out from others in this genre. As said before it has several laugh out loud moments but suspicions linger that it is a serious attempt at psychological horror which misses the mark somewhat. Ultimately it is not a wholly unsatisfying film-there are some successful elements here not least the performances- but it is a totally unconvincing one.