Back in 2014, Leigh Janiak delivered her directorial feature debut with Honeymoon, a film that centres on a newlywed couple who arrive at a remote cabin to celebrate their nuptials.
We are first introduced to the couple through their recorded confessions to camera as to how they met, which is actually beautifully acted.
The homestead for the honeymoon soon unleashes and otherworldly experience that shifts the film into a new territory which keeps the couple and us on their toes.
The film is currently available on Netflix and may have slipped by unnoticed by fans of sci-fi horror.
Riding on the crest of fame that came to the leads Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones) and Harry Treadaway (Penny Dreadful) Janiak crafts a strong narrative of young love.
The problem is that this film relies heavily on its leads to pull the story along, and in stronger hands they could have pulled it off with a blink of an eye, but it has to be said that the players weren’t quite up to the task.
There are moments where the tender moments feel forced and disingenuous and perhaps with more time and space with the actors this could have been reached and maintained to keep within the realms of believability.
It’s unfortunate as there are key moments later in the film when there idealistic notions of romance come unraveled which need the hard work at the front of the movie for it to be pulled off.
But let’s face it, it’s rare these days that actors have the luxury of time to build on their characters and deliver cutting edge results, so I don’t want to appear to harsh because the moments that they do connect, the performances are incredibly touching and vibrant.
Part of this I strongly believe is due to Janiak’s adaptability behind the camera. There is an organic approach to her style that feels polished and we are able to be transported as a viewer from scene to scene with a style that belies her experience at the time.
Since then, Janiak has helmed an episode of Outcast and 2 episodes of Scream: The TV Series, and if IMDB is to be believed, could very well be directing The Craft sequel.
The setting and ambience is incredibly well directed and despite a few little niggles, I found myself strangely drawn into the narrative. I would definitely recommend watching this one.
- Saul Muerte