The Trap is a little different from your average independent British horror film.
The film opens with two characters (one of whom is played by well known comedienne Aisling Bea) sneaking into an abandoned building to carry out an unauthorised saucy photo shoot. Little do they know they have entered the realm of a blood-thirsty psychopath.
Some time later a group of criminals is planning a heist in that very same building after discovering that it could contain some Nazi treasure not seen since WW2.
Coincidentally, at the same time a group of young job seekers plan to explore the derelict property in search of riches after hearing similar rumours. Their mentor Tim (played by actor/writer Alexander Kirk) thinks it could be a constructive exercise to instil working values, so they head off towards the initially unassuming building together.
Once inside, it becomes clear to both groups (the criminals and the job seekers) that the property is in fact a complex and devious trap, controlled by a crazed psychopath who takes pleasure in watching people die horribly ways while they hunt for the valuables.
On the surface of it, one could say that The Trap is a low budget, British take on Saw with a sprinkling of humour.
The humour aspect of this film is worth noting, because it was the first thing that I wasn’t sure about. After a such a direct approach to the horror and gore (opening sequence), the comedy aspect did seem a little unnecessary. While The Trap doesn’t resemble an all out ‘horror comedy’ (like Shaun of the Dead et al) it does have the odd comical character, piece of dialogue or situation. In some ways, it’s similar to the sort of diversions Eli Roth likes to take in his films, but in the case of The Trap, there’s more of them.
At times it works mainly when coming from characters like Raz (Sean Garratt) and Tim, and a lot of this is down to their delivery and expertise rather than the character or situation itself.
While I don’t have anything against this kind of film, in the case of The Trap, I did feel that the funny bits were a little unnecessary, as the viewer has enough to contend with keeping up with two large groups of characters all with different traits and on different journeys.
The plot is quite complex, and at times trying to keep up with all that’s going on dynamics between the characters detracts from the main thread of the story a touch.
That said, the amount of action does ensure that you’re constantly engaged with the film. And pulling together this kind of complexity into one cohesive, consistent piece of work would have been no mean feat.
The traps used in the film are creative enough, and the film moves at a stead rapid pace, which suits the situation that it depicts. And on the whole the cast is good, with standout performances from Sean Garratt, Alexander Kirk and David Haydn as Cavil, the most convincing of the criminals who delivers his performance with a Gerard Butler-esque hardened edge.
There is plenty to keep gore fans happy with lots of imaginitive gruesome deaths and no-holds-barred bloody effects.
The overall concept is good, the story is interesting and the production is good (sound and visuals) but the film is slightly let down by the fact that at times, the set and props do look a little cheap. There are also a few instances of random bursts of music that seem misplaced and unnecessary. Thankfully these don’t detract much from the otherwise consistent experience.
The Trap is an epic independent horror film which is as impressive in scale as it is enjoyable to watch.
With more budget this determined production team could no doubt put together a film to rival any mainstream British horror and do well at festivals worldwide.