The Beach House (2020) | SHUDDER
Triggered is a 2020 thriller film directed by Alastair Orr about some high school pals who decide to go camping in the woods a few years post graduation. Once out there, they realize it was a trap set up by an old teacher with an axe to grind with a few of the kids. They wake up with suicide bombs strapped to their chest, with various times left. They then realize if they kill one another, they can steal each other's time. The last one left standing with the most time wins their life. The writer is David D Jones; this is his first feature film script, and I have to say I was thoroughly impressed with his tone of humor through violence in American students. The writing reminded me of Assassination Nation (writer, Sam Levinson).
While this seems to be Orr’s fifth film he’s directed (the other four being horrors), I was super impressed. He managed to have me laughing while simultaneously having me on the edge of my seat terrified about what could happen next and who would align with who. The set up was perfect, while also striking the perfect cord between funny and serious.
I will be looking out for more David D Jones films in the future, as his set up and the story the characters embark on was perfect. I found myself thinking, “Why are all these kids camping together? None of them even like each other.” Not only was this question answered, but it also set the scene for the suicide jackets. Now that all these students, who already didn’t like each other, are being encouraged to kill each other to survive, well the movie just got a helluva lot more interesting!
TRIGGERED Is A Fun Film To Watch For A Thrill
ACTING | CHARACTERS | DIALOGUE:
The characters made sense, although they were a little bit one dimensional - ie. girl is good and that means she can only be good; guy is evil therefore he is only evil. But overall, I was decently impressed with the acting across the board. Occasionally accents would slip through, which is where the majority of that half score comes from. I wanted to shout out Reine Swart for playing Rian so well; she acted the way people should act when they’re going through such an event as she does.
VISUAL EFFECTS | MAKEUP | DESIGN:
MUSIC | SCORE | SOUND DESIGN:
I recall commenting on the score when Rian and PJ were hiding in the tent. There wasn’t really any active music as the majority of the film was fueled by score, and it was solid. It did its job, it helped make intense scenes more intense and thrilling, and it helped make death scenes more memorable.
The special effects were actually very, very well done. The opening starts with a man tied up with barbed wire around his wrists bleeding from them. This looked super realistic, and I found the majority of the other ‘kills’ or scenes of violence/gore/effects were done well enough that I didn’t give it a second thought. There were no distractions from the story caused by this department.
This was a great film to pick up and watch before Halloween. It made me laugh, it made me gasp, cry a little bit (I cry at everything), and legitimately be scared (from a safe distance). It’s a fun movie as in ‘who will make it to the end’ and the various ways people die - or react to the suicide bomb situation - will also be a cause for post film discussion. A fun film to watch for a thrill, but it can also provide a thought provoking ‘what would you do’ conversation. I will definitely be watching this one again - would recommend!
Samuel Goldwyn Films will release TRIGGERED On Demand and Digital November 6th