By Jacob Montgomery (Texas)
Paranoia is one of the best tools when you’re constructing a horror film. If a horror film can make you a little nervous around new people, then I would say that it’s done its job in scaring you and staying with you after it’s done. This film doesn’t completely get that down, but it does do a decent job.
The film seems set up for a simple exploitative premise, a couple is honeymooning in Hawaii and fear that they are being stalked by a group of serial killers who seem to be targeting newlywed couples. The film has a good simple set-up, which is good for a basic horror film, and is refreshing since the slew of recent horror films that have complicated set-ups.
The one plus I will say is that when it comes to violence and the body count, this film is remarkably restrained and isn’t nearly as exploitative as you would think. Whenever the film does reach its climax and gets violent and bloody, it feels well-earned and is all the more gratifying. This film does earn my respect just for that.
This film does understand what makes a horror film scary. It understands that in order for a horror film to truly be spine tingling, it has to be plausible, or let you believe that what you are seeing could happen. It also understands the importance of build-up. However, I think it understands it too well, because it spends too much time building the suspense. There are not enough mysterious moments in the beginning that really warrant the incredibly long amount of time they warrant to the mystery.
Also it’s worth noting that the editing isn’t too hot. At times, especially during the climax, the fast, quick camera cuts makes it hard to tell where the characters are within proximity of each other, and of how much time has passed.
Now, this film does have a pretty big plot twist in it, and honestly, I’m not sure if it will hold up to scrutiny. I kind of get the feeling the plot twist was a little bit of a missed opportunity because it is a good twist, but the twist is either going to be completely obvious, or will totally blindside you, but not for the better. With a few more rewrites, it would’ve probably been handled better.
The film also decides to have a few winks to the audience who know all the horror tropes. Now, there’s not enough that it could be considered satirical, but it is in there. I think the film might’ve stood out if it was a little more self-aware, or if it just abandoned that and spent it’s time focusing on the story and characters. As is, it’s not bad, actually, in places it’s actually quite smart, it’s just a tad disjointed.
So as you can tell my feelings for this movie are all over the place. However, when all is said and done, I think the pros of this film outweigh the cons. Make no mistake, A Perfect Getaway is no Scream, but what it lacks with its tedium and confusing edits, is well than made up for with it’s sometimes smart moments, sub-par acting, and a few twists and turns that keep it fresh.