Review by Sean Boelman
Down to the title, Alastair Orr’s explosive thriller Triggered sounds like a bad idea, and in execution, it’s not any better. Struggling with consistency in tone, logic, and style, this is one of those movies that is so bad it’s funny, eliciting plenty of laughs in its brief runtime in an unintentionally satirical way.
The film follows a group of former high school friends who go camping in the woods on the weekend of their alma mater’s homecoming game, only to wake up with bombs strapped to their chest with timers that are extended when they kill each other. Like a blend between Saw and The Hunger Games, this is one of the dumbest premises in history, but it makes for a few memorable moments.
As is the case with the movies that inspired it, this film is about retribution. There is a reason that these people are placed in this situation, and it is that the mastermind believes them to be responsible for the death of his son. It doesn’t really make sense, and it’s a backstory delivered entirely through exposition, but it puts these characters in this absurd situation, so it doesn’t really matter.
One would be lying if they didn’t say this movie is at least moderately entertaining. The dialogue is atrocious to the point of almost feeling like a parody of the genre. Everything that is said and done in the film is ridiculous, and after a certain point, one can’t help but laugh at the symphony of madness that is going down on screen.
All of the characters are flat and archetypal, but one would expect nothing less from a B-movie like this. Perhaps the biggest sin that writer David D. Jones commits, though, is that the audience can never buy these people as friends in the first place. The movie is supposed to be about how shallow friendships can be, but these people don’t seem to like each other at all.
The acting in the film is also pretty lackluster. The most noteworthy performance is probably Russell Crous, who gives his best (or worst) Bruce Campbell impersonation as the most crazed of the group. Everyone else in the cast ranges from phoning it in to insanely over-the-top, with no real in-between.
The visuals of the movie are not very good either. The cinematography is horrid, with some random zooms, plenty of shaky shots, and some terrible compositions. There is no sense of geography, even though the film has a woodsy setting working in its favor. And most disappointingly, the kills aren’t even that spectacular.
Triggered is a very bad movie, but it’s so bad in a way that makes it an enjoyable guilty pleasure. For those looking for a mindless and dumb flick to laugh at and pass the time, this will certainly be satisfying.
Triggered hits VOD on November 6.