“Before I was alone, but now I’m not.”
Young newlyweds Paul and Bea travel to a remote lake cottage for their honeymoon, where the promise of private romance awaits them. Shortly after arriving, Paul finds Bea wandering and disoriented in the middle of the night. As she becomes more distant and her behavior increasingly peculiar, Paul begins to suspect something more sinister than sleepwalking took place in the woods.
Having never been married (though coming close a couple of times), I’ve never been on a honeymoon of any sort. I’ve often wondered what the holiday would be like, you know, outside of the usual things everyone assumes happens during the time immediately after the wedding. Like taxidermy. I presume this is a common thing that happens during the honeymoon? Well, I can guess and fantasize no longer, as having watched this helpful documentary that was released in 2014, I now know that a “honeymoon” consists mainly of your significant other getting taken over by an alien parasite before they tie an anchor to you and toss you into the lake. Honeymoons are always held by lakeside resorts, right?
Anyway, all kidding aside, as it stands, Honeymoon always seemed to pop up on quite a few lists of independent and little-known horror movies that were considered frightening enough to warrant a watch. So that’s what I did (obviously), and having watched it myself, I have to agree that, while not exactly a mind-blowing experience (and not exactly a straight horror or psychological thriller, as you might be lead to think), Honeymoon was a nice slow burn of a movie, using what little resources it had to build up the tension and really get under your skin. Until the end, when my joke guess going into watching this turned out to be completely true. I really need to stop making joke guesses.
Anyway, after being made nauseated by watching clips from a young newlywed couple’s wedding video, we then arrive at the cabin by the lake in which they’re spending their honeymoon at. Then, after some more nausea-inducing acts of affection, the young wife begins to act rather odd: She’s given to suddenly sleepwalk into the woods, she forgets how to make a basic breakfast, she’s rather distant to her husband and doesn’t react to things like she used to before. Also, she begins to write down “My name is Bea”, “My husband’s name is Paul”, and other normal memories in her journal over and over again. You know, your basic Invasion Of The Body Snatchers type of stuff. Which, turns out to be closer to the truth, as, after extracting what looks like a Stargate alien from a place I never want to see extracted from again, she has just enough time to tell him that she’s full of those things, and she’s slowly losing her self to these entities. Then she completely loses it and tosses Paul into the lake, and then meets shadowy people in the woods. The end.
As you may have guessed, my very thoughts as I first pressed play to watch the movie was, “I hope this doesn’t turn out to be they’re invaded by alien parasites.” Which, to be fair, the outcome would have been either this, or demon possession. Which doesn’t necessarily disqualify Honeymoon from being a good movie; far from it, as the movie relies more on the actors ability to really ground the characters in a way that actually does make you care about them, and what is happening to them. Rose Leslie especially, as the freshly minted wife, is just…adorable as well as earnest. Yes, I admit to developing a bit of a crush on the character. The actor, as I understand, appears on something called Game Of Thrones; since I’m not a fan of game shows, I haven’t seen the series or her work on it. Here, both she and Harry Treadaway as her husband have a very thick chemistry that sells the situation. And like I said, it’s a slow burn, and will get under your skin in a way that no mere gore-infused slasher will do.
Come to think of it, I would also like to point out that I’m glad Honeymoon didn’t turn out to be another slasher. Or had psychobillies in it. Kind of puts that whole alien parasite ending thing into perspective, really.