Indie horror was a focus of HorrorFest 2015. It got me thinking about recent indie horror films we have seen, and Honeymoon came to mind. It is yet another great example of how decent acting with a slow burning script and minimalist effects can make a greater impact than a shallow script, high school drama class acting, and rushed gore effects. The climax of Honeymoon delivers on a level that is disturbing and brings together the moments that preceded it. It was by no means flawless, but few if any fiilms are on such budgets.
Sometimes success cannot be measured merely by the finished product. Sometimes it is measured by the story that gets you to that finished product. I'm more intrigued by the skill it takes to make a captivating film with a $500,000 budget than one that is $25,000,000. In fact, how often in the horror genre is that true? All too often. If someone makes a film with a 100 million dollar budget and gives you a product worth 100 million dollars, you are satisfied. If someone shows you a $500,000 budget film and you see a production value of $30 million, you are immediately more impressed and affected by that film. You got more out of it than expected. There's a value in that.
Blockbuster horror is not a detriment. In fact, it has its advantages that often overshadows indie horror for good reason. But its finished shine can lack the tarnished perfection that seems only possible when the director is forced to be more clever with every dollar. Honeymoon is an example of the latter, delivering a minimalist piece of horror that delivers its scares in brief moments that make their impact more permanent.
Honeymoon takes it to another level. Its climax proves that it could have at any point delivered grotesque imagery, but it saved it for moments to be remembered. We see the deterioration of a relationship as it is just beginning, a stark, drastic take on the fears of early married life. The fears of understanding one another, of changing in one another's eyes simply by the means of increased exposure, is in itself one of life's most terrifying processes. This film simply delivers on these fears in a manifestation of alien interference. And it works.
Honeymoon is a cinematic piece that is appreciated beyond its scares because of the social dilemmas it symbolizes. This is where horror truly shines. And while I'll watch any horror movie for the sake of dismemberment, I love it all the more when there's a point.