April 2, 2018 Fox Trap (Movie Review)
High school could undoubtedly be described as the most tumultuous, transitional, and transitory time in any average individual’s life, for better or worse. It is an occasion overflowing with young people who are being piloted by the patchy, devil-may-care hormones coursing through their veins; slowly taking hold of them and forever modifying their character – whose evolution is contingent upon their idiosyncratic environments and experiences during these four formative years. In this dog-eat-dog institution, one would most certainly not want to be stuck being a fox trapped in this facility full of bloodthirsty hounds, which now have you in their sights.
Fox Trap is the UK Horror film set to release on DVD and VOD Tuesday, April 3, 2018 via Sony Home Entertainment and ITN Distribution. It was originally decided that Luke White (Blood Money 2017) would direct this film, but just a month prior to shooting (which only took a total of 20 days), it was Jamie Weston who then made this his first feature-length film. The movie was written by Scott Jeffrey (Unhinged 2017, 12 Deaths of Christmas 2015), and made in conjunction with Proportion Productions.
The cast included Becca Hirani (House on Elm Lake 2017, Unhinged 2017) – as Becky Fletcher – playing the betrayed best friend, Frankie Hollingsway; Kate Lister (Unhinged 2017, The Warriors series) – as Kate Greer – portraying cunty queen bee, Connie; Julia Eringer (Girls Like Magic 2017, The Missing Knife 2016) as mean girl, Dina; Klariza Clayton (Dani’s House series, Skins series) as Emma; Alex Sawyer (Get SHorty series 2018, The End of the Fxxxing World series) as the subservient Niall; Therica Wilson-Reed (Suicide Club 2018, Fred 2016) as self-serving follower, Anna; and Richard Summer-Calvert (Milk and Honey: The Movie 2018, The Royals series 2015) as Frankie’s supportive boyfriend, Josh.
The film’s plot centered on an accident that occurred on prom night which involved a tightly-knit group of friends, and which also resulted in grievously life-altering consequences for two unsuspecting individuals in particular. After graduating, going their separate ways for eight years, and failing to remain in contact, the once close friends are invited to a reunion at the opulent mansion belonging to Emma’s (Clayton) incredibly wealthy parents whom are expected to be gone for several weeks. Upon arriving at the lavish, isolated home (predictably without cell signal), it is not long before the games begin, the details of what happened on prom night are exposed, and the truly shocking intentions of the reunion are revealed to the guests.
Fox Trap was neither the best nor the worst Horror film one could watch, but it did ride that line between “painful” and “pleasurable” that unfortunately made it fairly forgettable. It was essentially a disorganized and diluted UK version of the much more solid American Slasher films, 1996’s Scream and 1997’s I Know What You Did Last Summer; and viewers will be able to see the strong influence of those play out in various elements throughout this movie.
For the most part, this film remained true to the typical Slasher motif; shallow and superficial characters with dialogue to match, women wearing pounds of makeup who acted like they were still in high school, the cheap gimmick of gratuitous nudity, a brutal killer who provided memorable kill sequences, and a strong final girl capable of going toe-to-toe with the killer – but again, just on a much more insipid level.
One of the benefits of a Slasher flick is that the performances can, and usually are, overlooked in spite of how over-the-top or underwhelming they may come across. The only thing is that the movie must at least meet some of the other necessary qualities of this specific sub-genre if it expects to develop itself a proper fan base. So, with that being said, does this movie have commendable components? It absolutely does. Ambiance was effectively established very early on via beautiful cinematography and the creepy score. The use of props and the game element were fun, and the continued themes of grandiosity, grandeur, dramatics, secrets, and lies was appreciated and executed well.
With fine points such as those, it was disappointing that there were so many frustrating inconsistencies with regards to the finer details that the bigger picture was blurred, and therefore, could not be enjoyed to the fullest by viewers. Some examples of this included the limited gore not effectively matching the wounds, blood not being on the knife after a kill had just been made, bodies hitting the floor and barely disturbing the person’s slumber who is sharing a room with them, as well as obvious others. It felt a little like the details were lacking the care and attention they so required.
The overwhelming ignorance of the characters and the utter loss of logic throughout this movie made it difficult to enjoy. The discrepancies were distracting, and the plot was super predictable. The brutality and gore were missing, and the disregard for forensic science and police investigations to prove or disprove crimes was maddening as well. This film’s saving grace was its cinematography and score, but even the soundtrack got a little silly towards the end, which is why CrypticRock gives Fox Trap 2.5 out of 5 stars.