A different film with the same title of an earlier review.

Honeymoon-english-artwork_small-210x300

Honeymoon is another horror film that focuses on the concept of love and torture. It is perhaps odd that I am watching this on International Women’s Day (that statement probably shows how far my backlog is, who knows when this will be posted). The male gaze, female objectivity, and horror’s almost ceaseless need to show women in pain is present in this film.

Now, I cannot throw this particular film under the bus for having the same trappings as every other film in the genre. Yet, it is unfortunate that more films do not break the mold. Imagine a woman tormenting a man into loving her instead of the other way around. Now that would be interesting. This story follows Jorge as he kidnaps his neighbor Isabel in an effort to make her love him. We see his obsession manifest into the kidnapping and eventual conditioning (for lack of a better term) early in the film.

Director Diego Cohen has a knack for setting up scenes well. There is a minimalist sense in many of the shots, and most of it appears to have been filmed with a handheld. The grittiness of these shots adds to the atmosphere, as does the lighting, which is far removed from our normal well-lit scenes. I appreciate a director with a light touch. The unobtrusiveness of many of the shots adds to the film’s power to suck the viewer in.

Unfortunately, other film aspects will pull you right out of the film and annoy you. Numerous fades to black for transitions break any momentum between the scenes. Not sure if these fadeouts are the editor’s decision or the director’s, but they simply do not work. Further, at the height of tension we break away to establishing shots—why? The film tests the viewer’s patience with these odd transitions.

I often do not comment on sound. Soundtracks to most films I can take or leave. Often, if I notice the music, it is bothering me. The music is bizarrely chosen and implemented. The music is a mixture of pop, rock, and booming orchestral—none of them work. The minimalist elements of the film are shattered as the music comes roaring in over nearly every scene. The moments without music work much better. Honestly, the overbearing soundtrack nearly ruins the film. Worst yet, the music sexualizes the violence towards the woman. To think horror has moved beyond this was obviously premature.

The stupid twist at the end doesn’t make up for viewing the tortured female body as sexual. The passé approach to sexual violence is a tired track that has been played for too long.

The acting is fine, and those looking for disturbing scenes will find plenty to enjoy. The film doesn’t reinvent anything, though. It feels like the same old story that has been played out too many times before. Another psychopath, another helpless woman. Nothing new here. 2/10

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