Official Selection, Edinburgh International Film Festival 2014
Official Selection, SXSW 2014
“Brilliantly sneaky and slow-burning... a first-class nightmare” - Matt Barone, COMPLEX
“A good story, excellently told, and very, very scary” - Ryland Aldrich, TWITCHFILM
For all of the strange places HONEYMOON is willing to go, its success lies in its scariest moments being entirely human. Bubbling just underneath the distressing question of, “How well do I know who I married?” is another dreadful prospect: “Am I enough for this stranger?”
Like many of its forbearers, HONEYMOON is a cabin-set scary story. Refreshingly however, director Leigh Janiak avoids much in the way of traditional jolts, instead choosing to unsettle with a scenario of new domestic bliss lost to mistrust and helpless concern. On their second night of a secluded honeymoon getaway, Paul (Harry Treadaway) resolves to arise early and prove his own real-world skills by catching some lake-dwelling dinner. Failing to even get out of the house with all the fishing gear competently, he discovers Bea (Rose Leslie of GAME OF THRONES) out of bed and possibly missing in the pitch-black woods. She’s eventually found standing nude in some state of shock. What follows is a few frightening days in which she seems someone wholly different, clearly concealing a terrible fate.
HONEYMOON is the feature debut from NYU alum Janiak, who filmed in North Carolina (subbing for the Canadian wilderness) in 2013, inspired by that root, scary concept of “who exactly did I marry?” There’s a fuzzy, warm, great-outdoors aesthetic working in harsh contrast to the cold distance growing between stars Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway — the young couple entering into what many perceive to be an assured step toward adulthood, one that’s saddled with a host of new fears, new anxieties and new, mature horrors. The threat isn’t lurking outside the window of a stunning rural home; it’s lying next to you in bed by choice. The worry isn’t something heavy and sharp crashing down on your head, but the rising hunch that you’re entirely inadequate.
— Samuel Zimmerman