(Rose Leslie, Harry Treadaway, et al / DVD / NR / 2015 / Magnolia Home Entertainment)
Overview: Young newlyweds Paul and Bea travel to remote lake country for their honeymoon. 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.
DVD Verdict: I have been praising this film for the longest time and it deserves (mostly) everything good said about it. The acting was indeed quite good and largely believable if not a bit too effusive in some of the overwritten newlywed dialog interactions. And while the acting, scene direction and tension did rise to an intriguing and potentially stimulating crescendo of sorts halfway through, the expectation of climax or anticipated thematic bridge from drama/romance to horror failed to carry with it any sense of suspense.
I guess, playing Devil's Advocate, that the film failed to generate horror of any kind is my sole problem with it. Themes such as a person you love suddenly becoming someone else can evoke psychological terror and qualify for the genre, however, here the pending horror reveal is disguised as romantic suspense until a moment too late for the viewer to reap thrills and chills.
Science fiction horror is a favorite genre of mine, but 'Honeymoon' skips science of any kind and trades horror for a moment of gooey biological shock left open to far too many interpretations.
Lack of foreshadowing also contributes to my rating. "Rest your womb," says one character to another. Newlyweds not ready to discuss having children, Killing frogs, an old boyfriend acting strangely to his wife who appears a victim of domestic abuse, fear of deep water, hiding messages inside a hollow effigy--all possible clues in deciphering the plot, or so this viewer had presumed.
But none of the above sensibly related to the reveal. In a seemingly innocent but presumably deceptively clever line of dialog one character asks another if he has ever killed anything with his bare hands. Foreshadowing? Apparently, no. Much like the often discussed but never caught fish in the lake, the writer failed to stock this plot with sensible clues to the reveal. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Interview with Actors Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway
Interview with Director Leigh Janiak
The Worm behind the Scenes
Canoe Behind the Scenes
AXS TV: A Look at Honeymoon
Festival and Theatrical Trailers.