Honeymoon finds itself growing immune to its clichéd romantic set-up, metamorphosing into a delectably dark psychological thriller. The overriding sense of mystery Janiak manages to create from limit resources further renders this existential thriller with a welcome degree of complexity not often seen today.
It's hard to look past the subtle feminist subtext that ripples underneath the film's startling scenes of bodily discombobulation, yet it's in Janiak's deconstruction of marital identity where the psychological horror is allowed to fester and thrive. Instead of concentrating on the fear of losing a loved one, Honeymoon analyses the fear of losing love itself. Bea's erratic behaviour - writing and rewriting details about herself in her notebook and forgetting the correct names of normal everyday objects - could also be seen as a two-sided study into the dismay of having to care for a sick loved one or, alternatively, the worry that your own partner may struggle to fulfil the duties of the caregiver. With the exception of one scene of extreme gore and a few obligatory 'bumps in the night', Janiak moves away from a reliance on camera trickery and Foley work, instead using language to provide her oppressive atmosphere.
Linguistic trickery and Bea's irregular use of everyday words build a constantly evolving sense of distress, whilst Janiak's command of tone impressively leaves the audience on the edge of the seat. Whilst the film's conclusion might feel abrupt and a little too ambiguous for some, there's no denying that Honeymoon's insular world of youthful self-absorption and marital disentanglement leaves a lasting impression. As the old adage goes, it's always best to leave the audience wanting more. The horror genre isn't traditionally known for the works of its female directors (sadly), but whilst Honeymoon might not be a groundbreaking entry to the annals of independent horror, Janiak is an exciting director worth keeping an eye on.