Significant Other (2022)
There has been an unnerving amount of movies that I've watched this paranormal season that open with a car journey. New beginnings? Escapism? An extended trip to enlightenment of some kind? Not relevant, maybe, but nevertheless still true. Significant Other or "You're Not My Husband" is the same, as this seemingly blissfully happy (so obviously unmarried) couple start their trip into the woods, that if you go into today, you're sure of a big surprise.
The surprise is not immediately forthcoming, however, more like a lurking, nagging prod shuffling out of left field. Something odd is going on in the woods and like it or not, this is going to have a direct effect on the joy this seemingly perfect couple are here to experience. He has a plan to propose, despite previous conversations that she would probably rather not, for fear of travelling an emotional path too much like her own parents. Aah, the young and naïve, bless 'em. In the same way my ex-wife said I would never see her in anything but high heels, but took a liking to sneakers almost immediately we agreed to marry, things change. They may not be deliberate, they may not be planned, but you can't stop change. You are its plaything, not the other way around.
By the time you're half way through this, you might start to wonder what the point of it all is. Yes, there are hints at something dark and ghastly and its apparent effect on at least one member of this party for two, though never obvious enough to become concerning. And then it happens.
Whilst she is much more than this, Maika Monroe is indeed a delight to witness as an oppressed protagonist, up against the odds and still gritting her teeth about it. As mentioned previously, she is now something of a calling card for this type of thing. A first name on a possible cast list that even we would choose, given the opportunity.
Jake Lacy is just the right side of two parts loving partner, one part possessed and somewhat confused lunatic, a nice foil to Monroe's considered and mostly contemplative character. Too much in either direction would easily see this project split alarmingly at the seams, becoming ridiculous instead of merely unbridled wonderment, which it very nearly did at times. Good direction can be thanked for that.
In all, much better than it really had any right to be. This is heavily budget conscious, lacking much more cgi than what you might rightfully expect from twenty years ago. The gore is not too sordid or regular, but it is there and doesn't pull punches when it arrives.
You might not see the twist coming, but that won't stop you from sitting on the edge of your seat, wondering when it will show its face. It's worth waiting for as everything starts to make sense shortly afterwards. As such, stick with it, as this really is much more than a simple yomp in the forest.
Hoping for a sequel.