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Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Review: The Honeymoon Phase

Director: Phillip G. Carroll Jr. 
Screenplay: Phillip G. Carroll Jr. 
Year: 2020

After finding out about a study that seeks to understand the honeymoon phase in newlywed couples, Eve and Tom fake being married to participate in the research and get a good amount of money. At the beginning of their participation in the study, everything seems strange but flows without any issues. However, as the days go by, Eve starts noticing changes in Tom’s personality that lead her to believe that there is something about the study that they don’t know.

From the start of the movie, we see scenes where it seems like Tom is being interviewed, clearly in the future, where he starts by saying that his wife died the day they got married. The scene establishes early that something went wrong with the study and possibly influenced Eve’s passing. Effectively, it creates a gloomy and distrusting tone that it takes advantage of for the remainder of its duration.

Once they get to the house where they will spend a few weeks for the study, everything seems strange, but inoffensive. During these first scenes in the house, we get to know better Eve and Tom and delve deeper into their relationship. Immediately we get interested in both characters thanks to the superb acting from Chloe Carroll and Jim Schubin as Eve and Tom and the chemistry between them, as well as the great job in the script by Phillip G. Carroll Jr. 

The movie’s plot enjoys a magnetism that attracts the viewer’s attention, mainly achieved by how interesting it is. The futuristic theme, heavily influenced by science fiction cinema, brings a few novel and unpredictable elements that contribute to the tension created by Tom’s words in the initial scenes about Eve’s death. The plot develops with great rhythm, and constantly new things about the plot’s direction are being discovered, which helps to keep it interesting.

Not much time has to go by for events to start happening and confirm the initial suspicion that something will go wrong with the study. The story slowly moved deeper and deeper into darker territories that seem to follow a parallel path to Tom’s personality changes until reaching an explosive third act. This third act holds some surprises as revelation and plot twists that are well-crafted and completely unexpected. However, viewers sensitive to sexual violence must be warned about some scenes that can be somewhat uncomfortable to watch.

“The Honeymoon Phase”  sets the debut of Phillip G. Carroll Jr. as a director and leaves you wanting more of what this talented director is capable of doing. The story he presents in this movie is creative and intriguing, supported by great work from the actors and a well-crafted script. The third act is simply explosive, and the twists are so unexpected that they will leave you open-mouthed.

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