Thursday, July 10, 2008

Day 10: Steel Trap

The first thing I was thinking upon watching the recently released straight-to-DVD flick Steel Trap was that the cast looked so old. After that, I realized that they just looked old for a horror movie, as the typical cast of a typical horror movie are about 21 years old. Steel Trap sets itself apart by having a cast of real adults instead of overgrown teens. Unfortunately, this is the best thing I can say about this stinking pile of crap.

Steel Trap starts us off with an entertainment industry New Years Eve party on the top floor of an abandoned office building. Apparently, wealthy studio executives can’t afford a decent hotel or club. It’s at this party that we meet our protagonists. We have Adam the Arrogant Suit with Party Girl Melanie, Nicole the Advice Columnist and her boyfriend Robert, Kathy the Celebrity Chef, Pam the TV Exec, and Wade the Rock Star who has “fucked so many skanks it’s gotten old”. You now know everything about the characters.

After the new year has been rung in, the Scooby gang each get a text message inviting them to another party on a different floor. Of course, they go and find a series of nursery rhyme clues to follow. Only after finding a severed pig’s head do they think that maybe something is wrong.

And wrong it is. The gang find themselves trapped on the floor with low-tech booby traps and a masked killer stalking them. As you may have guessed, they die off one by one until the killer is revealed. (At one point, Nicole misspeaks a line giving a clue to the killer’s identity.)

People who know me know that I love horror movies. I even love bad horror movies. As Steel Trap goes, it’s pretty generic. It’s basically a horror-by-numbers kind of flick. The characters fall into their distinct types: the pompous jerk, the scaredy-cat, the brassy chick, etc. Even that I could’ve dealt with if the characters hadn’t been so goddamned annoying.

The most annoying trait we can assign to Gen Xers was the overuse of sarcasm. Like garlic, a little sarcasm can spice up a scene quite a bit, but with too much of it, the whole thing reeks. And brother, let me tell you, these characters never stop being sarcastic for one second. Even as a MASKED PSYCHO is stalking them, they keep on making sarcastic remarks at each other. I think the screenwriters thought it would make us think that the characters are witty and cool. Instead, it just made me happier when they inevitably got killed off. The camp counselors at Camp Blood weren’t this annoying.

By the ending, when the killer and motive has been revealed, I didn’t care. Even worse, the revelation was done in an even more sarcastic way that resembled a bad stand-up act more than what could have been a chilling scene about grudges and revenge. I honestly wished I had used the time watching this movie for something more productive.

My recommendation is that you pass on seeing Steel Trap. If you want a good horror flick about people trapped on a floor of a building, check out the far funnier and quirkier, but no less bloody film, Botched, starring Stephen Dorff.

No comments: