Nicola and Viola attempt to escape their dismal past involving losing their child at birth, traveling to an isolated cabin in the woods to rekindle and reconcile their bitter relationship. Once there, Viola feels a menacing presence lurking amongst the trees ever since arriving. As the strain on their past and present union becomes nearly too much to bare, tensions overflow with jealously and bewilderment that turn the delicate situation into an explosion of violent behavior. A cat and mouse game of carnage and death follows the couple through the dark woods toward a bizarre and psychological ending that reveals the true nature of their disturbing affliction.
Director Lucas Pavetto’s “The Perfect Husband” is an Italian psychological horror film from 2014 starring “Nightmare Code’s” Bret Roberts and Gabriella Wright and based off Pavetto’s short film of the same title. Even though “The Perfect Husband” is an Italian birthed film from Italian production company DEA Films, “Il Marito Perfecto,” the Italian title of “The Perfect Husband, has a crew, aside from Pavetto hailing from Argentina, that maintains the country’s native ethnicity. London born Gabriella Wright, who masks her English accent very well, co-stars alongside the Alaskan-American Bret Roberts; both actors could certainly pass having Italian heritage with their olive skin tone and dark features elsewhere and with filming location set in Catania, Sicily, the actors fit right amongst the rugged and mountainous Sicilian landscape. Roberts has a low-raspy articulation that makes him seem always out of breath that transitions beyond the catalyst, but Roberts plays villainy insanely well. Wright maintains a cryptic temperament from start to near finish. However, the duo’s dynamic is quirky at best as the couple treat themselves more a boyfriend and girlfriend than husband and wife, which might be a product of the writing.
Lucas Pavetto and Massimo Vavassori go fairly formulaic with their script, writing about strife-stricken couple working out their marital issues alone in a remote cabin surrounded by a dense forest. The setup screams horror premise clockwork and attempts to shift gears after lengthy character development that takes some time to build into something concrete, or at least halfway tangible. The shift in disposition is, however, so rapid and so sudden with unwarranted ferocity, that the effect goes from a scale of a tense filled two to a run-for-your-life ten in a matter of microseconds. The series of events portray Bret Robert’s character Nicola as a jealous misogynistic ready to snap at any given moment while Viola’s mysteriousness and her unconscious readiness to break with reality puts an undisclosed strain on her psyche that what she experiences may or may not be real. A twist ending tries to fill in the Nicola and Viola omissions, but misses the mark that still leaves gaps here and there, especially conveying more about the events that took place at the refugee station between Viola and the Ranger, played by “Apocalypse Z’s” Carl Wharton. Perspective becomes surreal; a fantastic journey that terminates toward a twisted unveiling, leaves more questions than answers about Viola and Nicola prior to their weekend getaway.
Plausibility. Probably “The Perfect Husband’s” fiercest enemy as the story tries to turn itself upside to throw the audience for a loop. The disillusion feels cheaply thrown together to try and wrap up, what could have been, a thoughtful psychological thriller and that’s where plausibility doesn’t formulate, frustratingly feeling like an square box with only three sides and a gap left carelessly open. I wanted to like “The Perfect Husband” because I thought the mayhem was present at the beginning moment of the snowball effect. Everything went down, fast and furious style, with unforgiving brutality that was surprisingly gory at times.
“The Perfect Husband” has been honored an unrated Blu-ray release in a 1030p transfer presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio from the ever bold Artsploitation Films. The video has a slight grayscale imbalance that contrasts scenes a bit heavily, but other than that minor issue, the image looks solid. The English 5.1 surround with optional English subtitles is also solid with a balancing the appropriate tracks. Bonus features include a behind the scenes segment that exhibits the takes of scenes in and outside of the cabin. The original short “Il Marito Perfecto” is included along with trailers for upcoming films from Artsploitation Films. Turns out “The Perfect Husband” wasn’t perfect, but raw, exploitive barbarity is a must see for any violent hound in need of a good scratch.