Honeymoon tells the story of a newlywed couple, Paul and Bea, and their romantic lake house honeymoon in the woods. Except for that night Paul finds Bea wandering and disoriented and a slow building chaos takes over the romance.
Honeymoon starts with the couple explaining how their first date went and the story of the proposal in a When Harry Met Sally... like sequence as the opening credits play. It's apparent very quickly that the two leads, Harry Treadaway and Rose Leslie, have a great on screen chemistry. It's as if these two have known each other for years and that comfortable and familiar feeling rubs off on the viewer in a way that makes us see them as our friends. This aspect really enhances the believability and stakes of the relationship as the story progresses and I applaud the casting choices as both actors give fantastic performances and are great fits for their characters.
The setting of the lake and surrounding woods doesn't give off the overdone secluded 'cabin in the woods' feel. It instead is populated with dozens of other cabins that line the lake giving it a popular and almost touristy feel. This safe feeling ambiance makes the escalation of terror and paranoia more effective and feel more intrusive when the introduction of Will, an old friend of Beas, kicks off a series of events that force the honeymoon toward a slow descent into chaos for the newlywed couple.
What made Honeymoon work so well for me was the tightness of the script and the fleshed out characters it introduced combined with the great performances from the lead actors. The script sets up the story to let the viewer know the situation that the characters find themselves in is in complete contrast to their personalities and they are unequipped to properly handle it, Paul in particular. Comments and scenes and character traits from early on come full circle to strengthen the already smart script that lead to a startling ending. There are no stupid decisions being made by the characters or 'why would you do that?' moments, just reasonable actions taken by a man who loves his new bride and I respected the hell out of that aspect of the film.
The filmmaking here is masterful storytelling as the mystery and suspense build and it was a horrific joy watching the actors play this scenario out. One climactic scene towards the end has no music playing over it, it simply uses the panic of the characters and editing to brilliantly carry the moment. Honeymoon holds its cards close to its vest and maintains the mystery behind the happenings throughout the film. It's the best of Stephen King meets the The Twilight Zone in a good 'ol fashioned suspense thriller that will leave you wondering how it's all going to end. There's not much more I could ask for from a movie!
I cannot speak highly enough of this movie and as of this writing, Honeymoon is streaming on Netflix and I highly recommend you check it out as soon as you can!