When Honeymoon started up I immediately began to wonder what was going on. Not due to the actual events of the movie, which are quite simple and easy to follow, but due to the fact that two British stars were clearly having to use wobbly American accents. Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway, the leads, don’t do TOO bad with the accents, I guess. I just didn’t know why they, or the American setting, were picked when it would seem simpler to either get two American actors OR simply set the movie in the UK. Let’s face it, any country can have a cottage sitting in the middle of some woods.
The plot sees our newlyweds (Bea and Paul, played by the aforementioned Brits) about to enjoy their honeymoon in a family cottage that is a bit isolated and surrounded by lots of trees. Everything seems lovely (doesn’t it always?) until a change comes over Bea. Paul becomes increasingly concerned about his wife, despite her insistence that she’s okay.
The best thing about Honeymoon is that it goes in a slightly different direction from what the general premise might lead you to expect. Director Leigh Janiak, who also wrote the script with Phil Graziadei, does well when it comes to the basics. It’s every other aspect that starts to show up the failings. While the script itself isn’t terrible, it’s not great either. A lot of the conversations either go around in circles or make little point. Worst of all, so many of the lines feel as if they’re just there to call back to later in the movie. The first third of the film is nothing but heavy-handed highlighting of catchphrases, behaviours and incidental details.
Tremulous accents aside, Leslie and Treadaway try their best with the material. Audiences will recognise the former from the likes of Downton Abbey and Game Of Thrones, so I am guessing she MAY have been cast for that reason. She may, however, have been cast because of the times when she looks remarkably like Emma Stone. Or, indeed, just because she was picked as the best for the role, of course. Treadaway has been making good progress on his movie career in recent years, so he should also be a face familiar to many. I guarantee that you’ve either seen him or his brother in some British films over the last few years. Ben Huber and Hanna Brown are also in the cast, but their roles are so small that this is, essentially, a two-hander with Leslie and Treadaway.
Honeymoon may not rise above average, but you shouldn’t feel too annoyed by the time it ends. It simply falls between two stools, being too slow and strange for mainstream horror fans and too predictable and lacking in tension for those who’ve explored the genre further.
DIRECTOR: LEIGH JANIAK
WRITER: LEIGH JANIAK, PHIL GRAZIADEI
STARS: ROSE LESLIE, HARRY TREADAWAY, BEN HUBER, HANNA BROWN
RUNTIME: 87 MINS APPROX