Quick Review : Honeymoon (2014)

IMDB Score – 5.7
Rotten Tomato Score – 70%
Netflix

Directed By – Leigh Janiak
Starring – Rose Leslie, Harry Treadaway, Ben Huber, and Hanna Brown

A newlywed couple finds their lake-country honeymoon descend into chaos after Paul finds Bea wandering and disoriented in the middle of their first night.

Gross. Let’s all I have to say after watching the last 20 minutes of this film. Gross.

You’ll understand if you watch it, and you should. I didn’t expect much from this. It’s the first film from director Leigh Janiak, who moonlighted as an assistant for a couple years. The plot is very simple. “Yay, we’re married! Let’s go up to my families old cabin in the woods. That should be fun”. Guess what, not fun. Who would have thought that? Rose Leslie was okay in Game of Thrones but the thought of her carrying a whole movie left me a bit cautious. However, I hadn’t seen a horror film in a while and Netflix just started streaming it so I gave it a go.

Pleasantly surprised.

Rose Leslie wasn’t that great. I was right in that regard. She gave the Canadian accent a good try but her true Scottish accent broke through a lot. It can be distracting at times. Treadaway however was very good. He was totally believable once shit started to go downhill for the newly married couple. The other two actors really weren’t in the film enough for me to comment. This was all Leslie/Treadaway.

I like slow burns, especially when it comes to horror films, the good ones anyway. When it comes to b-movie horror, please, up the blood and guts every minute until the film ends. The serious ones though, make it slow. I want to feel the tension. I want to get relaxed only to have something happen that puts the hair on my neck at a standstill. We got that with this film. It’s a slow descent into what seems to be madness but turns into something more mysterious and creepy. I loved how we were never given much of a glimpse of what was going on. Trust me, it was obvious what was happening, but I like the film kept it a mystery for the characters. Did I mention the last 20 minutes were gross? Holy shit, don’t watch this film is you’re going to have sex in the near future. Just don’t.

It’s totally worth the watch on Netflix.

3.5/5

Quick Review : Absentia (2011)

IMDB Score – 5.8
Netflix Watch Instant

Directed By – Mike Flanagan
Starring – Katie Parker, Courtney Bell, Dave Levine, Justin Gordon, Morgan Peter Brown, and Doug Jones

A woman and her sister begin to link a mysterious tunnel to a series of disappearances, including that of her own husband.

First films are interesting. On the surface they are cheaply made with actors who range from promising to barely usable. Below the surface they are occasionally the early seedlings of talent. After finishing Absentia I was left both impressed and frustrated. The film didn’t make sense in some scenes, had bad editing, and some shoddy acting. Yet, the film is also unique with some seriously disturbing and frightening ideas. Although I haven’t seen it yet, I can understand why Mike Flanagan got the budget to make Oculus.

The film centers around two sisters. The oldest is finishing filing the paperwork to declare her husband, who disappeared seven years earlier, dead. The younger is reuniting with her older sister after a long battle with drug addiction. The typical horror tropes start to occur afterward. Strange thins start to happen and both sisters are starting to question what they see. The film features a cameo of sorts from the great Doug Jones and some seriously horrid acting from two horrid detectives.

Like many first features, the beginning of the film kind of ruins the remaining. This movie takes an eternity to get going and by that point I’m really just hoping to see some blood and guts. The acting from Parker and Bell gets better as the film progresses and the last twenty minutes showcases some pretty interesting and disturbing concepts. The end result is pretty much this…I didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it. I’ll see if Flanagan improved on his first effort with his second effort soon.

2.5/5