The first time I can remember seeing the name David Twohy, and wanting to remember it, was with the 1996 film The Arrival. That was a solid science fiction film that had a level of intelligence that often seems absent in alien invasion films. They usually fall more along the lines of Independence Day (which I liked, but it is not a terribly good movie).
Four years later Twohy would write and direct the science fiction thriller Pitch Black, once again proving he could do a lot with a little, a fact proved once more in 2002 with the underwater ghost story Below. He returned to the Pitch Black universe in 2004 with Chronicles of Riddick, which, while decent, exposed him; although he had a lot of toys in this toolbox, the resulting film was somewhat lacking.
Now, five years later, David Twohy is back in the director's chair with a thriller that feels somewhat conventional, yet is terribly effective and shows that he is at his best when working in a more minimalist style.
I went into A Perfect Getaway with low expectations. The movie looked rather conventional and I was sure it would fast turn into a slog. As it started I hoped it would outdo my expectations; then Twohy's name appeared on the screen and my spirits lifted. No, I would not call Twohy a cinematic visionary nor is he likely to revolutionize the art, but there is something to be said for his ability to focus and deliver a solid experience that goes against expectations and does so with very little.
At its core, A Perfect Getaway is traditional thriller. You know, the sort of film where you have the good guys, the bad guys, and the plot flies a rather straight line to the finish. Within the first ten minutes, you will think you know where it is going, and you may actually be right. The key is to pay attention and find out if you were right. As I watched, I had an idea of who the bad guy was, but then something else happens and I change my mind, then it happens again and I am suspecting someone else, before long I am back to where I started. This thriller had me simultaneously running in circles and treading water.