March 20, 2018

Black Panther: A Perspective

I’ve been away from the Kinoreal blog for a while, and I’ve missed writing it. Movies are the way I make sense of life, how I endeavour to understand the complex issues that affect me daily. Maybe I haven’t been motivated enough by any of the recent movies to contribute. Black Panther has changed that. Although not a revolutionary film, elements of it speak to me profoundly. What are those elements? How does Black Panther interact with other films depicting the experience of African descent?

A Little Background

The character of Black Panther was created in 1966 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, two legendary creators of superhero comics. Stan Lee is one of the architects of the Marvel Universe, and collaborated on the creation of superheroes including Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four and the X-Men. We can see Stan Lee’s affinity for marginalized characters in the X-Men. Doctor Doom from the Fantastic Four and Namor the Sub-Mariner are examples of the isolationist view that Wakanda adopts in the film. Black Panther’s physical stature is attributable to Jack Kirby and his distinctive visual style, often used to represent figures of power, as in the DC Comics series New Gods.

Black Panther came into his own when African-American writers working for Marvel appropriated the character. Christopher Priest’s Black Panther series, under the adult imprint Marvel Knights, introduced Everett K. Ross to the Black Panther mythos, a character that has a prominent role in the movie, for better or worse. Priest has said the creation of character Ross contributed heavily to his decision to write Black Panther, declaring in 2002 during an interview:

“I realized I could use Ross to bridge the gap between the African culture that Black Panther’s mythos is steeped in and the predominantly White readership that Marvel sells to.”[1]

Priest’s comic book run also puts centre stage elements that will become integral parts of T’Challa’s story: international intrigue (translated: international interference in Wakandan affairs), the fighting prowess of the Dora Milaje; and T’Challa’s duties as king of Wakanda. Most of these themes are present in the movie to some degree.

Writer Reginald Hudlin’s take on the character explores the link between the kingdom of Wakanda and his ruler. Hudlin builds the myth of a historically strong Wakanda, resisting outside conquerors for centuries. He also maintains the mystery of T’Challa, a virtuous ruler whose legacy reaches back generations, and his link to the fictional African country. The Who Is the Black Panther? storyline is an exploration: T’Challa is a very human character, destined to lead his people as a chieftain of the Wakandan Panther Clan. His position is a lonely one, creating distance between him and his loved ones. Hudlin’s introduction of the character Shuri and T’Challa’s interactions with the royal family are important as they alleviate T’Challa loneliness, if only slightly.

This is the character director Ryan Coogler decides to tackle when he accepts to direct a live-action adaptation of Black Panther.

A clash of values

If Wakanda exists, why have they never involved themselves in issues like slavery, segregation, apartheid, or the killing of African-Americans by agents of the US state? The question is an obvious one and the movie’s prologue sets up its explanation: Wakanda is an isolationist country and its inhabitants don’t feel they belong to a broader community, whether people of African descent or the human race. There are reasons to that: as writer Reginald Hudlin sets up in Who Is the Black Panther?, this view stems from historical intrusions into Wakanda. The movie doesn’t portray it the same way—Ulysses Klaue’s intrusion is mentioned, but don’t feel that Wakanda has been constantly attacked by outsiders, although it’s possible that these intrusions are merely not mentioned.

The Wakandans adopt conservatism as a philosophy since they have much to lose. The central tenets of conservatism include tradition, hierarchy and authority, emphasizing social stability and continuity. The Wakandans aren’t prepared to lose all of the advantages the vibranium metal brings to their society, even if it means turning a blind eye to atrocities outside its borders, atrocities like Rwanda or Congo. This is the policy Nakia reacts to when she is introduced: she aims to be part of a larger tribe, challenging the notion that prosperity is worth anyone else suffering. Initially, T’Challa is resistant to her position because as the ruler of the Wakandan, he’s an agent of the established order. T’challa’s responsibility is to enforce the present system, ensuring Wakandan prosperity by building on the tradition that his father and his ancestors have built, the tradition that Zuri the shaman represents, a tradition that Okoye is sworn to protect. T’Challa’s authority sits on tradition: the only way for him to be a legitimate ruler is through the traditional challenge pitting him against contenders to the throne.

Very early, we see that T’Challa is uneasy with his role as a ruler, probably because his values tend toward those of Nakia, and not those of his father and the tribe elders. He believes in a larger tribe but isn’t ready to break away from the weighty expectations of his family, his people and the ghost of his father. This is a constant theme is Senegalese director Ousmane Sembene’s films: in his Moolaadé (2004), a girl hides at a neighbour’s house to guard against her excision. The event confronts the village with the cruelty of that tradition. Evolving away from the conservatism position will be T’Challa’s journey throughout Black Panther, and he will need to be confronted to Killmonger to get there.

The Open Wound

Killmonger’s inclusion in Black Panther is interesting for several reasons. First, he broadly represents the African diaspora, which supports the idea that Black Panther is a canvas of the experience of African descendants, a story made of parts of our identities. This is important because Killmonger’s presence is loaded with meaning: it speaks to the pillage of the African continent, the displacement of millions of Africans, and the benefits to Western countries, which are in themselves ripe subjects to explore and talk about.

More specifically, Killmonger represents the African-American experience and the anger felt by Blacks in North America on a daily basis. I often say that I did not know what it was to be Black before I moved to Canada. I was raised in Haiti, a country with a proud past, which has been compared to Wakanda in the wake of the film’s premiere. In 1804, Haiti is the first Black country to declare its independence, and it’s been a constant battle with international powers ever since. Coming of age there, it isn’t surprising that you develop an increased awareness for the mechanisms of post-colonialism, and how powers destroy your means of production, and indoctrinate you through their media. But, when you’re in Haiti, that external force seems more abstract, spread out, all the way over there, across oceans. You live your life aware of it but apart from it. You forget about it until you read an expose on how prominent political figures in the country are on the CIA’s payroll or subsidized goods being flooded into your market. You can forget about it; you can live your life. North America is different: no one lets you forget that you’re Black. A fellow artist at a networking event reminds you that there are grants for people like you. A co-worker at work makes a casual remark about race. A clerk at the store follows you around.

This is where Killmonger’s anger comes from, the anger of Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (Melvin Van Peebles, 1971), the anger of Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989). Since his father’s murder at the hands of the Wakanda’s king, this constant aggression has forged him year after year to punish those responsible: the oppressing society he was raised in, yes, but the family who left him behind and destroyed his life as well. This is what has sustained him as he worked to become an exemplary assassin. He manifests the anger, etching his kills into his body. Physical harm is limited to the body, but psychological harm is potentially infinite since it is in the mind. Killmonger represents a deep wound, open and bare, never allowed to properly heal and close. He is probably the closest representative of director Ryan Coogler in the narrative. I can attest that Killmonger is the character I identify with the most because I see through him what I have to endure every day and the emotions it arises in me.

The Wakandan mask Killmonger wears carries great meaning for me. Since it’s stolen African art, we can see it as a rekindling with Killmonger’s roots and a reminder of the slave trade. One of the purposes of a mask is to hide the wearer’s identity, and we could conclude that it’s what Killmonger wants here, but since no one knows of his existence, and the ring around his neck serves to identify him, there’s no need. The mask can also serve as a ritual, a way for Killmonger to prepare himself for his journey through the film, a way to commune with his own ancestors as T’challa does with the heart-shaped herb. But, for Killmonger, the act of wearing the mask may stem from his desire to belong to the family that has abandoned him. Although he may want to be Wakandan, and he has the right blood to integrate their highest society, he will always stay an outsider. So he makes his way back to Wakanda, not as a brother, but as a conqueror, using the country’s own traditions to seize power.

Killmonger’s position isn’t unwarranted; it is born out of T'chaka’s sin, the previous Black Panther. T’challa may have to deal with other family sins during his reign, and such is the weight of the throne. But without Killmonger’s revolutionary position, without confronting T'challa to his father’s sin, would Wakanda open to the outside world by film’s end? Killmonger’s contribution is essential. If the film was revolutionary, Killmonger would live and integrate T’challa’s reign as an advisor, a message from the filmmakers to unite Africa and its diaspora. His flagellation is unnecessary; it makes him a more tragic character than he needs to be, wanting to belong for all his life but never able to. Killmonger is the victim of at least a couple of imperialist agendas (US and Wakanda), and his death brings home the point that, as for the world’s super-rich, there can be no great difference between world superpowers like Wakanda and the US, as they extend their influence around the world.

The Wakanda Myth

I’ve been reluctant to accept Black Panther as a shift away from the normal representations of African heritage on-screen because, in a lot of ways, it isn’t a departure from it. A good example is the character of Everett K. Ross, one of the two main Caucasian characters. In the film, he serves as an introduction character, as Wolverine did in X-Men (Bryan Singer, 2000) and Neo did in The Matrix (The Wachowski Brothers, 1999). They serve to introduce the moviegoer to the world-building elements of the movie’s creators. But there’s been a pattern of including Caucasian characters in Black narratives in Hollywood, a character most moviegoers could identify with. This is the case in The Last King of Scotland (Kevin Macdonald, 2006), although the Dr. Nicholas Garrigan character isn’t depicted as a saviour and is changed by his experience in Africa. In Blood Diamond (Edward Zwick, 2006) and The Power of One (John G. Avildsen, 1992), for example, the two principal characters are Caucasian saviours and we experience Africa through their efforts to save it. Black Panther doesn’t deviate from this trend as Ross is both an introduction character and a saviour for Wakanda.

Writer Christopher Priest also used Ross as an introduction character when he added him to the Black Panther mythos. The Ross character in the movie is problematic for me: he reads as a saviour-type of the Wakandan people while the main villain is Black. This is also a mainstay of Hollywood films: depicting black-on-black violence and Caucasian characters as innocent witnesses. It evokes the slavery narrative that African tribes were selling off other tribes to White traders, as if the traders barely had to exert any efforts to acquire slaves, as if they passively profited from the violence. Choosing Killmonger as a villain and Ross as a hero, the clash of these representations isn’t to the film’s advantage. Plus, Ross is a CIA agent, an organization through which the US government has constantly destabilized governments to insure their international interests. This is consistently shown in other Black films like Sembene’s Xala (1975) where a shadowy figure bribes government officials. In filmmaker Raoul Peck’s Lumumba (2000), the shadowy figure is indirectly responsible for Lumumba’s fate. Growing up in Haiti, it was common knowledge that the big political actors in the country were on the CIA’s payroll. The Ross character is used to elicit sympathy for an organization that has destroyed entire countries. It would make more sense if the Killmonger character was a CIA asset and was sicced on Wakanda. Killing Klaw (I prefer the original spelling) halfway through the film goes against the idea of a canvas because the figure of the White Devil is important in Black narratives. It reminds us of the slave trade and how it began, but also of imperialist action since then.

Wakanda as a technologically advanced African country is a difficult concept to accept. Do we need this idealized African country (like Zamunda with guns and technology)? Does it mean that the more idealized Wakanda is, the worst African heritage countries are today? Is Wakanda what we aspire to be? The (short) aerial shots inside the country show what an African country would be like with more technological development, instead of mirroring North American or European cities. And yet, there are no shown examples of any vibrant society, no philosophy, no intellectuals, no new artistic ideas. Wakanda is a society ruled by traditions which mostly go unchallenged, save a conqueror and a spy. To rule Wakanda is to exert physical dominance through arms and with muscle. The stronger you are, the better the protector, it seems. Although women have a prominent role, we’re never meant to believe that they can rule Wakanda, that Shuri, for example, can also take the heart-shaped herb and become the Black Panther. Wakanda’s power only stems from technological advances built around a fluke celestial event. Yet, have they developed the maturity for those technological advances and managing them? Why have they developed offensive weapons instead of defensive ones? Isn’t using a network of spies around the world a manifestation of Wakanda’s imperialist power? It seems to me ridiculous to think that a society’s only measure of civilization is its technological and economic prowess without the maturity of intellectual thought.

Instead of seeing Wakanda as an ideal version of an African country, I choose to see it as a reflexion of African heritage, of the rich African history and the continent’s contribution to the world. It is also a reflexion of the untapped potential of people of African descent and what resources and culture they bring to their countries as well as others around the world. There is no need for us to aspire to Wakanda because all it embodies already exists and only needs to be harnessed. It builds a more positive narrative around Africa: in most Hollywood films about the continent, the consensus for its inhabitants is to leave as quickly as possible. This is the case in Blood Diamond where the main Black character only desires to leave the continent for Europe. This narrative perpetuates the assumption that African countries are “shithole countries”, as President Trump stated recently. Wakanda does away with this assumption, fostering instead a movement back to African roots, just as the movie Sugar Cane Alley (Euzhan Palcy, 1983) fosters from the perspective of displaced slaves.

I’ve come to realize that Black Panther’s discourse isn’t in its narrative or its comic book roots, but in the film's details: the use of different African traditions; the costume and art design; the importance of music throughout. The movie’s trajectory itself is its revolution: contrary to popular belief, Black-led movies have been successful, most notably action films like Bad Boys (Michael Bay, 1995) or comedies like Coming to America (John Landis, 1988). With Black Panther’s international reach and more than a billion dollars at the international box office, the movie’s revolution can come from a new openness from studio executives and moviegoers for more diversity in Hollywood filmmaking, in front and behind the camera, a diversity which can include African heritage stories told from distinct points of view.

Eric Lafalaise was born in MTL, Canada and raised in PAP, Haiti. Afflicted since childhood with a debilitating shyness, he communicates by writing and telling stories. He is a contributing writer to the Kinoreal film blog, a producer for Red Brand Studios, an artist, a photographer, a tech freak, and an all-around (left-right) brain nut. 

Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

[1] Sacks, Ethan: The unsung heroes: Blade & Co. help to close racial divide, March 19, 2002.

February 27, 2018

On the dopeness of Black Panther

I’ve been excited about Black Panther from the moment I heard about it. Anything that involves Our Lady Lupita (you know her as Lupita Nyong’o) get me psyched. I adore Lupitaand the fact that she can actually spit some bars is icing on a fine cake.

If you follow me on Facebook, you know that I’m obsessed with the movie and its reception. We often hear that movies with an African-American lead or with a predominantly black cast aren’t worth the investment because their box-office potential is limited. Well, they were wrong! Black Panther is a record-breaking movie. Not only people are showing up to the theatres, they are also showing out ! Why are we so extra with this movie?

The predominantly black cast. Danai Gurira is one of my favourite people in the industry right now. She is fabulous as Michonne in the television series The Walking Dead. She’s also the playwright of Eclipsed, the first play with an all-black and female creative cast and team to premiere on Broadway.

The Black Panther cast
Do I really need to explain why I love Angela Basset? In my opinion, the scene in which Bernadine Harris (Waiting to Exhale, 1995) burns her cheating husband’s belonging is one of the most iconic scenes in movie history. Plus, she has so many iconic roles: Tina Turner in What’s Love Got to Do with It (Brian Gibson, 1993); Dr. Betty Shabazz in Malcolm X (Spike Lee, 1992) and Panther (Mario Van Peebles, 1995).

And then there were the boys. Michael B. Jordan is bae. I absolutely adored him in Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler, 2013). Chadwick Boseman is bae as well. He played James Brown beautifully in Get on Up (Tate Taylor, 2014). Daniel Kuluuya, seen in Get Out (Jordan Peele, 2017) made me believe that the Sunken Place exists, and confirms his talents here. As one of the best, Forest Whitaker doesn’t need any introduction. I will only remind you of his award-winning performance as the dictator Idi Amin in The Last King of Scotland (Kevin Macdonald, 2006).

The director. Ryan Coogler has been on my radar since I saw Fruitvale Station. That movie stayed with me. The story is told in a very simple and compelling way. I shed tears of rage throughout Oscar Grant’s ordeal. I didn’t like his Creed (Coogler, 2015). The storyline fell flat, in my opinion. But now, thanks to Black Panther, I’m willing to give it another watch.

The storyline. A friend, who shall not be named, has tried to get me into comics. He failed miserably . I wished he had succeeded. How could I go through my life without knowing about the Dora Milaje? I mean, a group of fierce women warriors I can wholeheartedly accept. And why didn’t I know about T’Challa and Shuri before the movie’s hype?

When the first trailer dropped, I couldn’t stop watching it. February 16 couldn’t arrive fast enough. I was willing to skip Christmas to get to February. And this says a lot since: 1) I love Christmas, and I start singing carols in the summer; 2) I live in Canada, and I dread the month of February (it’s often the coldest).


Black Panther is not your typical superhero movie. The black characters aren’t mere sidekicks; instead, they run the show. Wakanda is a celebration of African culture, a dialogue between Africa and its diaspora, and provides a glimpse at a world where men and women walk side by side as equals.

Wakanda: Eldorado was in Africa all along
Wakandans speak English with an accent that is not American. Some people have said that it took them a minute to adapt to the accent. I didn’t. The actors’ diction was impeccable. Their accent provided a necessary authenticity. It served as a clear demarcation between Wakandans and outsiders.

I liked that the costumes were inspired by different regions and tribes on the continent. You may be wondering how likely it is for a single country be that diverseWakanda is home to five tribes. Actually, it is very likely. For example, Nigeria has hundreds of ethnic groups. The choice to portray as much African culture as possible feels deliberate. The result is fabulous outfits that have me thinking about planning a Wakanda wedding for my 20th wedding anniversary.

The movie passes the Bechdel testwith flying colours. The female characters are phenomenal. They are strong and opinionated characters. They are spies, techies, generals, lovers, mothers, and sisters. They are standing next to the men in their lives, never behind them. They live according to their own values, never those of their significant others. There doesn’t seem to be arranged marriages in Wakanda. Otherwise, Nakia wouldn’t be talking about becoming a queen “if that was what [she] wanted”. Furthermore, no one seems to be concerned about Shuri’s betrothal. She lives her life, engineering designs and new technology. Compare her life to the common idea of a princess life that most movies or television series convey. Also, did you notice how Okoye told W’Kabi that he’d always come second to Wakanda? When, I did, I almost fell off my chair.

Isolationism, colonialism and other —isms

One of my favourite lines is the movie was Shuri’s quip: “Don’t scare me like that, colonizer!”

But she said it to the wrong person. In my opinion, Killmonger is the colonizer. He waltz into Wakanda as though he owns the place. To be fair, his father was a Wakandan prince. But still, Erik needs to calm all the way down. Not only does he challenge T’Challa, he also challenges the Wakandan way of life. The first person he kills on Wakandan soil is Zuri the shaman, a religious leader and counsel to the king. His first decision as king is to burn all the heart-shaped herb. Erik Killmonger enters Wakanda with his heart full of hate and his head full of dreams. He dismisses religion and burns tradition. If these aren’t colonizer moves, I don’t know what is.

Killmonger, the conqueror
Even though he is a problematic character, Killmonger adequately voiced some concerns that I had. How does Wakanda witness the slave trade and remain silent? How do they choose to isolate themselves from the world while watching the world self-destruct? How did all the past Black Panthers sleep at night? Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand the concept of self-preservation. But at the expense of so many others, I don’t know…

Now, if T’Challa wasn’t so busy freezing each time he sets his eyes on Nakia, maybe he would have heard what she’s been saying for a while. I bet you this is what they broke up over. Nakia was probably tired of his “let’s stick to our way” attitude. I got tired of it real quick myself.

Nakia and Okoye are the real MVP

Nakia has seen the world. Her voice is that of a new generation of Wakandans who are tired and ashamed to be standing on the sidelines while the rest of the world suffers. Unlike Killmonger, her approach isn’t violent. She talks about aid and how they would do it better than others—the recent Oxfam scandal comes to mind. But that’s a subject for another post.

The king and his muscle
No wonder Queen Ramonda asked her to take the herb. I wish she had.

When Nakia talks about loving Wakanda, one wouldn’t be wrong to infer that she’s also talking about T’Challa. Her love for him and for her country seems intertwined. At times, she reminds me of Sidney talking about hip-hop in Brown Sugar (Rick Famuyiwa, 2002).

Okoye is all about loyalty to the throne and holding on to tradition. And, for part of the movie, she struggled with the idea of letting Killmonger sit on the throne she vowed to protect, even though he is harming her traditions. She only stands up to Killmonger when she realizes how much contempt he holds for tradition. He never cared about the challenge. T’Challa’s return is a hurdle on his path, a new kill to carve on his skin.

T’Challa: Prince, Brother, King

I like T’Challa. I think he is the epitome of a leader. He never has to remind people that he is king. He naturally commands the respect of his title. He listens to the people around him (except Nakia) and recognizes their expertise.

King T'challa on his throne
Chadwick Boseman played the role to perfection. While he’s the movie’s star, he never outshines the other actors. He has presence without being overwhelming.

And he made me wish I had an older brother like him growing up. His relationship with Shuri is so special. The way they tease each other. The way they have each other’s back. The way she’s the brains and he’s the muscles. The way he treats her like a full human being. He steps in when she really needs himlike when cousin Erik decided to send her to meet the ancestors.

Black Panther is an important film not only because it is breaking records, but also because of the many themes the movie discusses, from the role of women to slavery to romantic love. The movie introduces to complex and, at times, complicated characters. Ryan Coogler tells their story so flawlessly. He invites us to a fictional world that I wish were real.

Look for me on Facebook. I’ll be the one keeping the Wakanda Forever hashtag alive!

Yves-Marie Exumé is a travel blogger for Pieds Poudrés. She hails from Port-au-Prince, but currently lives in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. She’s a foodie, a bookworm and a film aficionado who spends way too much time in museums and in front of the TV. She loves shoes, photography and everything Haiti. 

Follow her on Instagram and on Facebook.

November 15, 2015

Spectre (Sam Mendes, 2015)

After the tragic death of M and to honour her memory, James Bond uncovers a conspiracy of influential individuals called Spectre, a secret society responsible for strategic terrorist attacks around the world. As Bond strives to thwart their plans, fundamental changes are affecting the secret services back home, leaving Bond to fend for himself.  

First, let me say that Spectre is not a bad film. It is certainly entertaining in very key moments, the opening sequence notwithstanding. It is also visually and technically flawless, as the film is shot in stunning locations around the world, and its principal photography is breathtaking. However, the plot is rather disappointing, as we’re often left scratching our heads about the characters (lack of) motivation rather than taking a legitimate interest in their journey. The Bondisms are all here, but feel forced somehow, as if to say: “at least we gave you the tropes and nods to the franchise, right?”

The villain is wholly underused; a talent like Christoph Waltz could have brought the lore of the Blofeld character to more interesting places, or, at the very least, to themes more relevant to the new generation. Daniel Craig still makes a good Bond though, with a lot of machismo and suave. Yet the producers have certainly toned down on the grit that Casino Royale had introduced us to and had carried over the next two films.

Overall, Spectre is a good film, but I personally left the theatre disappointed in the experience, since expectations were high after the superb execution of Skyfall.

INFO: Spectre

Olivier Day is an avid photographer, blogger, fearless leader of the influential cult of Awesomeness and guest contributor to the Kinoreal film blog. He's also a self-proclaimed motivation enthusiast and a die-hard movie fan. Olivier Day will also admit to also being a conflicted geek. Photography is his great passion.

Follow him at @olivierday or visit his site at

May 5, 2015

Seven Pounds (Gabriele Muccino, 2008)

WHAT IT IS: An engineer, haunted by the memory of an unforgivable past act, tries to earn his redemption by helping people in need.

HOW IT IS: After 2006’s The Pursuit of Happyness, Smith and Muccino team up for another high-concept drama, this time structured as a mystery. Although sporting an interesting premise, Seven Pounds fails to deliver in part due to Muccino’s weak direction. At times, when the love story develops, it almost feels like Seven Pounds wants to be a different, more compelling movie, before it reverts to its previous state. Its mystery is unnecessary, leaving the audience to identify only at the end’s reveal and by then it’s far too late. Smith’s acting is almost uniform, limited to smiles and pouts to express his character’s myriad of emotions like loss and regret. The supporting cast is well chosen, with Dawson, Harrelson and Pepper being high points of the distribution.

Seven Pounds is a great concept but executed with poor vision.

IF YOU LIKED: The Pursuit of Happyness, 21 grams.

INFO: Seven Pounds

January 30, 2015

Honeymoon (Leigh Janiak, 2014)

Paul and Bea, a newlywed couple, vacation at the bride’s family cabin for their honeymoon. But, even though the chosen setting is remote and bucolic, strange happenings cast a shadow on the freshly minted couple. 

What is most impressive (and refreshing) with Honeymoon is the director’s perspective. Without any spoilers, the big reveal has a lot to do with the filmmaker’s world view and gender, the corruption of the body, losing control of it, losing control of reproduction, and sins of the past haunting the future. There are so many film horror influences that can be discovered throughout the film: Lynch, Cronenberg, cabin horror like the Friday the 13th series, and low-budget indie films, especially for the aesthetics. There were parts of the film where I felt genuine dread, stuck as I was in Bea’s frame of mind, feeling pulled in between the fight against the outside influence, and the desire to let go and embrace it. That was, I think, a pretty difficult thing to balance, considering the budget, the genre, the subject matter. 

At times, watching Honeymoon, it’s as if we’re at the edge of a blade which could turn out quite dull or sharp as hell. Riding that edge is what makes the film so appealing.

INFO: Honeymoon