The Honeymoon Falls Apart, And So Does the Plot: A Review

The Honeymoon Falls Apart, And So Does the Plot: A Review

I was really looking forward to Honeymoon, writer/director Leigh Janiak’s debut. Honeymoon stars Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones) and Harry Treadaway (The Lone Ranger) as Bea and Paul, newlyweds on their honeymoon at Bea’s family’s cabin in the woods. Unfortunately, all is not well, and the honeymoon is interrupted by Bea’s unexplained disappearances in the woods, her increasingly strange behavior, and Paul’s frightening revelations about what’s going on with his wife.

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Leslie and Treadaway have great chemistry: together, they make a cute, believable married couple. And, I commend Janiak for giving them a reason to go up to the cabin in the woods where bad things happen (the Bea family connection) instead of just shoving a camping honeymoon in there to make it work. Nice touch. I also really liked the music. It added suspense and mood to the film without being intrusive. It helped to set the scenes as things become more and more tense between Bea and Paul. At times, I actually found myself getting a bit tense while watching this movie. I’m not complaining. The film affected me as a viewer, which is great. Bring on the stress, bitches.

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Also, great accent work by both Leslie and Treadaway, neither of whom are from the states. In fact, in real life, Leslie has a Scottish accent, which at worst can be basically like a foreign language. They both had to speak with American accents in Honeymoon, and they both did a good job. I did not have to struggle to understand either of them at any point in time, and didn’t catch any slips, which can sometimes happen when an actor has to talk in an accent different from their own and is struggling with a difficult word or is acting out an emotionally-charged scene. The makeup was also really good. Very real-looking.

So, why the negative-sounding article title? Well, the plot didn’t really work, which was hugely disappointing and a gigantic detriment to the movie as a whole. It dragged in spots, lingering too long on topics it shouldn’t have. I know that all writers and directors want to show the couple being happy together before everything goes to hell, but frequently, they waste too much time on this, and Janiak made the same mistake. We get it. Bea and Paul are adorable and perfect. Now let’s ruin it. Also, I keep wanting to type “Bea Arthur” or “Bea and Arthur” so there’s that.

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Furthermore, as the plot goes on and Bea acts stranger and stranger, I found that Janiak didn’t take advantage of a lot of the opportunities she provided herself to let the reasons for Bea’s odd behavior unfold. Rather, she seemed to prefer that sex be the barometer for Bea and Paul’s relationship, and seized solely on sex scenes (or rather, scenes in which Bea does not want to have sex with her husband) to increase Paul’s concern and drive to find out what’s going on.

In the end, all the missed opportunities and dragging scenes result in Janiak being forced to jam the climax of the 90 minute movie into the last 20-30 minutes. It was like she sort of lost her way in the story and suddenly found it again and tried to wrap it up. Characters that we know nothing about and saw for less than 5 minutes are suddenly back in the story, and everything starts to fall apart all at the same time. And, Janiak fails to show the viewer what’s actually happening in the woods, which I would have liked to see. The film could have benefited from a horrifying scene in which Paul follows Bea into the woods and learns the terrifying secret of what’s going on there. Or something. But, bottom line: there were no breadcrumbs, and the ending seemed weird because throughout the entire movie, I had no clue where it was leading. There’s wanting the viewer to be surprised by the ending (which I support) and leaving the viewer in the dark completely and then throwing a bunch of information at them. That’s what happened here. So instead of being surprised by the ending in a good way, I just ended up feeling like, “Oh, that’s the explanation. Hm.”

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I’ll come to my final point now, which is lighting. Please, horror film directors, stop leaving viewers literally in the dark! Some scenes in Honeymoon were so dark I couldn’t see what was going on at all. This didn’t happen with any important scenes, so it’s not that big of a deal, but still, it was a little annoying.

Overall, I had much higher expectations for Honeymoon and the plot, at least, didn’t meet them.


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I'm a regular contributing writer to this website. I got into horror movies through the sci-fi monster films I watched with my dad as a kid (ex. Aliens) and the extreme amounts of zombie movies I spent a good portion of my college career watching. I absolutely love zombies (obviously), am a sucker for a low budget (or any) monster movie, and adore horror-comedy films. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is one of my favorite books, and I'm still waiting for an actually decent film adaptation to bring that fantastic novel to life. Outside of my life as a horror fan, I'm a writer and editor with dreams of turning my screenplays into movies and a love of wine and murder mysteries.

9 Responses to “The Honeymoon Falls Apart, And So Does the Plot: A Review”

  1. What happened at end of Honeymoon. I did not get it. Where they abducted? Turned I to aliens what? Was that Some alien fetus? It gave zero clues and left me with no clue LoL. What was the shadow man? Why did she say she was not alone anymore?

    Good movie terrible ending. Its like They had no idea how to end so they killed the husbands and who know what happened to the women.

  2. I completely agree. Right on, Theresa.

  3. Lolz, I didnt even read diz I jus went fo the comments so Theresa, she said she was not alone anymore cos the other girl came into a state like bea too lolzz that gud sherlock skillz fo a 14 yr old lolzz

  4. Honestly this movie pisses me off. I have been searching for an explanation as to exactly what happened and have found none. I dont get why the hell directors do this and never fully explain what had been going on the whole time. If anyone can explain what happened in this movie please reply.

  5. I really enjoyed the movie, almost all of it until the ending. Since the entire movie you were left wondering was was going to happen and what did happen in the woods I was so hoping the ending would give some some clarity. But it does no such thing. There are no answers at all. Ive been looking desperately for an answer, at the point Id even love for someone to give me a fake reason! Just ANY REASON, SOMETHING! i am going to go crazy not knowing what happened.

  6. I wasted one and half an hour for this….still searching for the ending….what does it mean…? Anyone please tell me

  7. I have a theory about this movie, i reckon the first half is all about the happy newly wed’s. The second half is all about Bea’s life from her marriage through to her old age shown in an abstract. Post marriage Bea become’s unhappy with said marriage. The change in Bea start’s after she sought a fling with her childhood friend in the wood’s. I think she become’s pregnant, and she resented being pregnant (Hence her self aborting the life inside her). Her being distant and deceptive towards her husband emphasize her unhappiness in the marriage. Her disposal of her husband is her way of breaking free from said marriage. The at the end she is on her own, an elderly woman. END OF FILM. I reckon this is a movie that force’s viewer’s to think, and draw our own conclusion’s. ANYONE WHO RESPOND’S ? PLEASE BE POLITE. I’m not great at putting my thought’s into word’s. Hence my comment’s might seem a little confused, and confusing, Thank’s.

  8. So I think we are supposed to believe they are stealing their life essence (i.e. “they’re taking me, they’re taking bea”) she says after she tries to kill the alien in her womb (haha she needed to rest her womb anyway) I think that these aliens need to use humans to be born (kinda like Alien) and the aliens were slowly taking things from the girls in their wombs such as: memory, personality, skin, etc. And they kind of forceably raped her to do it. They called the girls out every night to check on them and warp their minds so they could seem normal (having them memorize things by writing them down). At the end of the day, they both realized the aliens could only not reach the husbands if they were under water, so they put them there. And then once the new alien babies were to be born, they were called out together.

    This is my theory. It still was a horrible ending when it comes to reveal cause it was confusing, but as a writer myself, I liked the words they left off on.

  9. Hi, do you guys even know what is an open-ended film? You better try to look for its meaning. Just saying.

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