Tuesday, July 5, 2016

When Ygritte Sleepwalks Through the Woods, or Thoughts on Rose Leslie in Honeymoon

Rose Leslie, your favorite redhead from Downton Abbey and that game about thrones, and Harry Treadaway, aka Victor Frankenstein from Penny Dreadful, play Bea and Paul, two happy newlyweds with shaky American accents in Honeymoon (2014).  They spend their honeymoon in an isolated cabin in the woods, what could possibly go wrong?  There are so many options; witches, psycho killers, cannibal mutant families, ghosts/zombies/werewolves, bears, wolves, giant ants, bio-toxins in the water, take your pick.  There’s even a boathouse straight out of a Friday the 13th movie or The Amityville Horror.
After a brief montage to establish how happy and in love they are, and then Paul comes back from an early morning fishing trip to find Bea missing from their bed.  He discovers her sleepwalking in the woods, naked and confused.  Bea comes back twitchy and distant, with odd memory lapses and vague excuses.  As Paul searches for an explanation and sudden personality shift he begins to question her identity and sanity, and the movie rapidly descends into a bloodbath of paranoia and self-mutilation.  This is a horror movie, after all.
The straightforward direction by Leigh Janiak in her debut is reminiscent of early Cronenberg, and is supported by a clever, economical screenplay and her two actors.  Rose Leslie’s overnight switch from happy wife to distant doppelganger is tense and thrilling, complimented by Harry Treadaway’s growing concern.  The two have a quirky chemistry that makes their romances seem authentic, which is important as they are central to this film; there are only 4 characters in the cast.
Scottish actress Rose Leslie, who was the best thing about Vin Diesel’s The Last Witch Hunter (2015), continues to impress onscreen but has yet to have a breakout role in the US to bring her to the next level and get out from under the long shadow of Ygritte.  She needs something like Nicole Kidman’s Dead Calm (1989), and while Honeymoon currently holds a 72% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it wasn’t a commercial success and failed to find a wider audience appeal. 


my first novel? thanks for asking:) I wrote a 4 book supernatural martial arts series concerning the ongoing feud between a group of kung-fu killer witches in san francsico’s chinatown.