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HONEYMOON (Leigh Janiak). 87 minutes. Opens Friday (September 19). For venues and times, see listings. Rating: NNNN
Bea (Rose Leslie) and Paul (Harry Treadaway) are newlyweds driving up from Brooklyn to her family’s lakeside cabin somewhere in Canada – probably Quebec – for their honeymoon.
It’s a beautiful place, and their first day is lovely the first night, too. The next morning, Bea is mixing up her words and forgetting that you have to batter French toast, obsessively writing her name in a notebook. Things go downhill from there.
It spoils nothing to say that Honeymoon has a genre component. Director Leigh Janiak and co-writer Phil Graziadei are working with ideas similar to David Cronenberg’s in The Fly, infusing squishy body horror and at least one other B-movie element into a study of young lovers coping with one’s sudden, inexplicable illness.
But Honeymoon operates almost entirely on an emotional level, as Bea deteriorates and Paul grows increasingly desperate to understand why.
Leslie and Treadaway – whom cable viewers may know as Ygritte on Game Of Thrones and Victor Frankenstein on Penny Dreadful – are the whole show here. There are two other speaking parts, each with less than five minutes’ screen time. And though they occasionally struggle with their American accents, they hold the screen easily, shifting from a playful, sexually comfortable couple to two people absolutely terrified of each other – and with good reason.
Check it out. But maybe don’t make it a date movie.