A Perfect Getaway (2009)
Hawaiian Honeymoon Horror Hike
Nothing bad ever happens in Hawaii, right? - Cliff
What a fun bit of adult horror, I say adult horror because "A Perfect Getaway" plays out like your typical teen horror as we have a couple going hiking on a Hawaiian island only to learn that there have been murders and they begin to suspect the couple they are with of being the killers. But because we are not talking teens but adults it makes it a little less cliche even though it still is. Yet that is not all there is to "A Perfect Getaway" because of course things can't be simple when we have horror and so we have a twist, a joyous twist which I guarantee will make you laugh. But do you know what the best thing is, "A Perfect Getaway" knows what it is, has fun with what it is and doesn't try to over complicate things which simply makes it a fun horror.
Having headed to Hawaii for their honeymoon Cliff (Steve Zahn - Sahara) and Cydney (Milla Jovovich) find themselves first getting on the wrong side of a couple of hitchhikers, Cleo (Marley Shelton) and Kale (Chris Hemsworth) and then accompanied by another couple Nick (Timothy Olyphant - Die Hard 4.0) and Gina (Kiele Sanchez) who enjoy the adventure of trekking through the tropical jungle. But when Cliff and Cydney discover that there have been murders they begin to question whether Nick and Gina maybe the killers with Nick being an outdoor type proficient with a bow and arrow whilst Gina a dab hand at gutting dead animals.
So as already mentioned part of the joy of "A Perfect Getaway" is that it knows what it is and just tries to do it as well as it can. As such we have what is a classic set up as we follow Cliff and Cydney who having learned of the killings and that the police are after a couple initially suspect the rough Kale and Cleo could be the killers. But then it sets up the aspect that Nick and Gina may also be the killers, they certainly are proficient with weapons and knives as well as having a wild side to them.
It means that for the first half "A Perfect Getaway" is playful as it sets up these possibilities, toying with us as to who the killers could be. And at the same time it throws in a few light hearted moments such as Cliff being a screen writer and Nick suggesting certain things about their hike would be good for a horror story. It almost has a "Scream" like quality with these sorts of in-jokes but then also plenty of dark humour especially when we see Gina take a knife from the butt of an axe and set about morbidly gutting a goat.
But the thing is that having played out in a classic horror fashion we then get a twist and of course you expect a twist because what horror movie with killers doesn't feature a twist. But the twist in "A Perfect Getaway" is brilliant, absolutely brilliant and like the rest of the movie it is seriously playful. And in being playful it throws a series of scenes at you which will have you laughing in shock it is that much fun.
It's not entirely perfect and when we do get the big twist we also get an explanation, an overly long and stylized explanation which could have been cut down to make it work better. But even so it doesn't spoil the fact that "A Perfect Getaway" is a fun horror and much of that is down to some enjoyable performances from Steve Zahn, Milla Jovovich, Timothy Olyphant and Kiele Sanchez. They all play their characters well especially Olyphant and Sanchez who deliver that comical unease as we are lead to wonder whether they are the killers.
What this all boils down to is that "A Perfect Getaway" is a fun horror, not all out comedy but one which revels in the dark humour whilst never trying to be anything more than it is. It will have you laughing more than scaring you but it is intentional and despite being a movie which works on a twist you will want to watch again purely for the fun of it.
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