Monday, August 15, 2016

THE PERFECT HUSBAND (2014) (Blu-ray Review)

Label: Artsploitation Films
Rating: Unrated 

Region Code: A
Duration: 85 Minutes
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 with Optional english Subtitles
Video: 1080p HD WIdescreen (2.35:1)
Director: Lucas Pavetto
Cast: Gabriella Wright, Bret Roberts, Carl Wharton, Tania Bambaci, Daniel Vivian, Philippe Reinhardt

Synopsis: This terrifying psychological horror film follows Viola (Gabriella Wright) and Nicola (Bret Roberts) as they try to reconcile after an unexpected termination of pregnancy puts a strain on their marriage. They decide to spend a weekend in a family cottage in the woods but what was supposed to be a romantic weekend suddenly turns into a deadly nightmare as seething suspicions, maddening paranoia and blind rage explodes around them. A bloody, unsettling thriller from Italian horror filmmaker Lucas Pavetto.

Caring husband Nicola (Bret Roberts) arranges for a romantic weekend trip to a secluded family cabin in the woods with his wife Viola (Gabriella Wright) who is recovering after the loss of their child during child birth. The tragedy has shaken the relationship to the core and Nicola hopes the trip will bring them closer, but things from uneasy to deadly once they arrive at the cabin.

The film starts off as a slow burn that begins in low-gear and takes a while to get a proper  head of steam about it, the filmmaker establishes that the relationship is not in the best place, that Nicola is a jealous guy, that Viola is somewhat secretive, we glimpse certain strange happenings from the past as the movie is peppered with short flashbacks. Things take a turn for the worse when Viola has an accident in the woods while she is alone. She is found unconscious by a forest ranger who takes her back to his cabin, once she comes to and is able to tell him where she came from he returns her to Nicola. At this point things go from shaky to seeing some serious cracks in the relationship, Nicola is overcome by jealousy which comes to a head over dinner when he accuses Viola of infidelity, not only accusing her of sleeping with the ranger but also questioning her about something he saw while spying on her back in the city. Viola manages to calm things down a few degrees over dinner and afterward they head for the bedroom where Nicola handcuffs his wife to the bed for some kinky good times, bad idea. With Viola handcuffed to the bed and helpless Nicola goes off the deep-end, again accusing her of infidelity and beating her savagely. as things begin to turn bloody the final third of the movie kicks into high-gear with the severing of some digits

Viola manages to escape when Nicola leaves the room for a moment, freeing herself she runs into the darkness of the woods with her murderous minded husband not too far behind her. The first sign is what appears to be a homeless man living in a camper in the woods, Viola seeks protection from the stranger who instead opts to bend her over the hood of his car and rape her, which he does until Nicola comes up behind him and cuts him down with an ax.

The movie definitely started off slow but this final third is a delirious frenzy of brutal bloodlust and psychological terror with one heck of a big twist, one that might not sit well with all audiences as I do not feel it is necessarily earned. At face value The Perfect Husband is a brutal, gory and nightmarish watch with a stellar performance from Gabriella Wright as the troubled woman in peril, though I did struggle a bit when they flipped the switch and turned this one on it's head,

The Perfect Husband (2014) arrives on Blu-ray from Artsploitation Films in the original scope aspect ratio (2.35:1) looking very nice in HD, the cinematography is strong and stylish, the night scenes are lit very nicely, and the shots are composed with some serious craft. The disc only offers a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround audio track, there is no lossless audio option. The track sounds good with a nice balance for the most part, the dialogue seemed a bit low in the mix at times but otherwise it does the job, an optional English subtitle track is included. 

Extras on the disc include the original 38-minute short film made back on 2011, a 24-minute making of featurette and the usual selection of Artsploitation trailers.

Special Features:
- Il Marito Perfectto (short film) (38 Mins)
- The Perfect Husband Behind-the-Scenes (24 Mins)
- Artsploitation Trailers (6 Mins) 

The Perfect Husband (2014) is a solid watch with elements of backwoods horror and psychological terror thrown into the mix, it made for a solid watch, but that twist might have some viewers throwing their hands up in protest, but if you can accept it there is some solid horror to be had.