If Tommy Wiseau were to attempt to make a horror film, the results might look a lot like Lucas Pavetto’s The Perfect Husband.
A beautiful married couple, Nicola (Bret Roberts) and Viola (Gabriella Wright), decide to vacation at a family cabin while trying to heal from the emotional trauma of a recent stillborn pregnancy. Viola isn’t too keen on the idea at first, but eventually warms up to it, as Nicola does his best to make the situation as comfortable as possible for his wife.
At first, things seem to be getting off to a good start. But then Nicola goes off his meds, and that’s when the carnage begins. Nicola is insanely protective of his wife, and his trust is non-existent. One night, he insinuates that she may have cheated on him, and in a fit of rage, slams his fists on the table. This startles Viola, who calls him out on his suspicions.
But there’s no calming Nicola.
Soon, he is handcuffing her to the bed and beating her mercilessly in the face. After he grabs a funnel and forces gallons of water down her throat, she somehow manages to escape, running frantically in the woods beyond the cabin looking for help. It’s no use, as her many attempts to find refuge are thwarted by an axe-wielding Nicola, and an unfortunate run-in with a hillbilly rapist.
All of this mayhem leads to a last ditch “surprise ending” that simply does not work, nor does it justify any of the ugliness that came before it. The Perfect Husband is a terrible film, a problem that is exacerbated by this cop-out denouement. Pavetto does manage to create a somewhat effective sense of mood and atmosphere, but that’s all the film has going for it on any positive level. That, and the unintentional moments of outright hilarity, of which there are many. Also, this film may have been edited with a chainsaw. It’s sloppy stuff. As far as the leads, we are clearly not dealing with Streep or De Niro here. Both Roberts and Wright let their inexperience shine through at nearly every moment, due to their jaw-droppingly wrongheaded performances. Fans of The Room may very well be quoting the character of Nicola before long. This script is full of howlers.
Pavetto shows promise as a director, but The Perfect Husband is far from the perfect film.
Available on Blu-ray from Artsploitation Films.