Saturday, December 07, 2013

"A Perfect Getaway": fool the moviegoer's rooting interest amid lush Hawaiian scenery (and then set an ambush)

Screenwriting technique involves creating rooting interest and suspense, rooting for the good guy but having to deal with the possibility that he or she isn’t good after all.

A Perfect Getaway” (2009, by David Twohy, from Rogue) is a like a super-text example.  The film introduces you to Cliff and Cydney (Steve Zahn and Mila Jovovich) as the couple de jour, as “The Honeymooners” in Kauai, Hawaii.  The scenery is spectacular.   Pretty soon, they have an ambiguous encounter with a pair of hitchhikers.  You’re not supposed to pick up hitchers, right, but this is Hawaii.  One time I was picked up when lost on a bike in Delaware by an “angel” back in 1992. 
Other couples enter the movie, especially the impressive war veteran Nick (Timothy Olyphant).  We learn about couples being found murdered, with body parts missing, and eventually, partly with flashbacks (in black and white) we can piece together the inconvenient truth: that the nice young couple who open the movie with “Cloverfield-style” videos of their wedding are psychopaths, bent on framing others for murder.  The framing – getting others charged for what they do – will be part of the terror. It would play into a series of recent TV specials on wrongful convictions and even the Innocence Project.  At the end, you understand the indefinite article in the title. 

The DVD offers an unrated director’s cut (10 extra minutes).

Here is one of the site’s for the movie. 

The film can be rented from YouTube for $3.99.  

Wikipedia attribution link for Kauai picture 

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