Honeymoon

Honeymoon ★★★½

Hoop-Tober, Film 11 of 31:

A baffling film, to say the least. To me, it's clearly allegorical, but unlike a film such as Denis Villeneuve's Enemy, I'm unable to figure out what this film might represent. With Enemy, after looking back at all of the signs and thinking about the film for a half hour or so, I had already come to the conclusion that it was, loosely, a film about infidelity. It's been about that long since I've finished Honeymoon, and I'm still completely in the dark. Nonetheless, I'll theorize.

Okay, I think... I think, I think, I THINK that this film is entirely a metaphor for the fear of having a child. It is, in that sense, similar in theme to, or possibly even inspired by, David Lynch's Eraserhead. It follows the story of newlyweds, Bea and Paul, who have retreated to Bea's lakeside cabin for their honeymoon. Pretty standard introduction, eh? Well, not for long, and don't worry, I'm not going to spoil anything in this paragraph... but I will say that after a certain something is brought up the morning following their first night of honeymoon sex, the entire tone of the film shifts. No, the entire film shifts, not just the tone. It becomes something much darker, much more sinister, and seemingly allegorical.

Here's the part where I do have to spoil some stuff, because I'm so left-in-the-dark by this film that I must pose a few questions, so...

*SPOILERS BEGIN HERE*

The reason why I think that this film is a metaphor for fear of childbirth/raising a child, is because after Paul brings up the possibility of having a child with Bea - even if his bringing this up was unintentional - she seems to freak out and things begin to go wrong from there. He says to her that they have slept together hundreds of nights and yet never once before had she sleepwalked; well, Paul, maybe that's because you had never brought up the possibility of having kids before the morning prior to her first sleepwalking session (which isn't really a sleepwalking session at all). Having kids didn't seem to be something that Paul and Bea had discussed before that morning, let alone before getting married. Writers/directors begin their narratives at a certain point for a reason; their characters bringing up of this topic of childbirth seems to be the starting point for the metaphor that Phil Graziadei & Leigh Janiak are attempting to communicate to their audience. Plus:

1. The decreased physical affection and sexual dismissals from Bea following the night that the alien-worm-thing was implanted in her vagina remind me of a woman who is possibly expecting a child and is, as a result, becoming more emotionally distant from her husband; he even says to her, "you seem much more distant lately." This doesn't happen with all couples, probably not even the majority, but it is a thing for couples to potentially become a bit more distant with a child on the way. It happens.

2. And this is the more clear arrow pointing toward a pregnancy/fear of pregnancy metaphor; the previously mentioned alien-worm-thing pretty obviously represents an umbilical cord. That was the first thing that I thought of when I saw it (especially because of where it came out of) and it was the first hint leading me in this direction.

So my questions are: what does fear of marriage have to do with ultimately killing one's husband? She says to him something along the lines of, "we don't need you." Is it that she realizes she, as a woman (and artificial insemination aside), needs a man's assistance in the process of creating a child? Does this affect her individuality? Threaten her sense of self? And why aliens - why was that a necessary inclusion in the story to achieve the desired metaphor/allegory? It's all a bit confusing to me... a bit too confusing, which is why I think that maybe I'm overthinking it. Maybe it's just a very vague film that wants to make its audience ponder the possibilities of its plot more than they should. But if that's the case, then that's a problem, because it's never vagueness that a film should strive for, it's ambiguity, and this doesn't seem like ambiguity. So I'm asking for your help - if you might be able to expand upon this theory, please do. I'd love to hear from any of you.

*SPOILERS END HERE*

All of that hypothesizing aside, there are some generally impressive aspects to this film. The cinematography is fantastic; there are some awesome tracking shots - one in particular, following Paul through a dark wood - that greatly impressed me. The acting is great, especially from Harry Treadaway (from Fish Tank, one of my favorite films); the accents are a bit off sometimes, but that's never really something that seems to bother me. The performances themselves are a definite thumbs up. And man, oh man, is Heather McIntosh starting to become one of my favorite up-and-coming composers after hearing only her scores for this and Compliance. She's got some serious talent.

Overall, I do have to recommend this film, mainly because I want you to watch it and try to help me figure it out. There may be more there than what appears on the surface, and I seem to be scratching only a little bit beneath it. Definitely a solid late night horror film that looks good and sounds great; it might be a frustrating watch, but it's always a fascinating one as well.

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