NPR logo Pets Or Meat? Let's Play Guess-the-Victim In The New Thriller 'A Perfect Getaway'


Pets Or Meat? Let's Play Guess-the-Victim In The New Thriller 'A Perfect Getaway'

Any time a scary movie apparently involves a decent-sized cast of people placed in a closed environment, it's a good time to play a game I like to call Pets Or Meat.

This comes from Roger & Me, in which Michael Moore meets a woman who sells what her sign calls "Rabbits Or Bunnies - Pets Or Meat." In your average scary movie with a sizable cast, there are some characters you can look at and immediately know: That guy is going to die. They are the Meat.

Others are the ones you're meant to identify with, and they have a reasonable chance of surviving. They are the Pets. These are tried-and-true tropes, and it takes a bold filmmaker to work against them successfully: Part of what makes Psycho a classic shocker is that it kills an apparent Pet, rather than just all the Meat. Got it?

Let us examine the Pets and the Meat of this week's A Perfect Getaway, starring Steve Zahn, Milla Jovovich, Timothy Olyphant, and Kiele Sanchez, along with Marley Shelton and Chris Hemsworth.

And I will stress: I am writing this while completely unspoiled about this movie. Haven't seen it, and am well prepared to be completely wrong. The fun is in the guessing.

The difficulty of Steve Zahn here and in general, after the jump...

Based on the trailer (above), Zahn and Jovovich are the poor unfortunate protagonists — the couple plunked down into paradise only to find that terror lurks around every corner. The setup is that "authorities are searching for a man and a woman" responsible for killing two people, and here our main characters find themselves, stuck out here with a few other people