Review: ‘Honeymoon’ is a chilling newlywed nightmare

'Honeymoon' is a chilling newlywed nightmare

‘Honeymoon’ is a chilling newlywed nightmare

When a horror movie is called “Honeymoon,” the obvious question is “When is it over?” (the honeymoon part, not the whole movie).

For cheery young lovebirds Paul (Harry Treadaway) and Bea (Rose Leslie), who decamp to her family’s lake house for post-nuptials private time, that end point comes after a weird, searching light beams through their house as they sleep, and Paul finds Bea naked and disoriented in the woods in the middle of the night. Those bite marks on her inner thighs don’t look like harmless insect nibbles, either.

Director and co-writer Leigh Janiak’s compact, Cronenberg-ian indie is a pretty straightforward before-and-after two-hander about sinister possession and domestic rot, thinly veiled as a “do I really know this person?” marriage metaphor.

But it’s got plenty of shadowy atmosphere and dread-inducing patience, and his youthful leads sell it handily: Leslie’s incremental personality shifts are chillingly off-putting, and Treadaway incurs plenty of sympathy as Paul’s confusion and fear gradually contaminate the love in his eyes.

The gory final act can’t help but be an explanatory letdown after so much enigmatic fizz, but that’s little bother when the rest of “Honeymoon” delivers a steady dose of newlywed nightmare.

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