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Trigger Man
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Devised for minimum fuss and maximum tension...
smartly written sophomore feature - begins at a dawdle and ends at full gallop... Steel-trap finale”
Jeanette Catsoulis - THE NEW YORK TIMES


“The suspense the film does elicit is rather remarkable…pure adrenalized terror.”


“the first mumblecore horror movie…unbearably tense…
brings to mind nothing less than the work of filmmakers like Antonioni or, even moreso, Tarkovsky.”



"Mr. West gleefully inverts the explicit, shock-a-minute formula that has rendered
so many recent commercial horror films dead on arrival
and turns those overt tricks into an oblique test of patience, a silent form of existential dread."

S. James Snyder - THE NEW YORK SUN


"the startling sophomore feature by 26-year-old writer-director Ti West...
an uncommonly naturalistic terror tale... "

Scott Foundas - VILLAGE VOICE


“denies its audience conventional narrative satisfactions while creating
an almost unbearable atmosphere of voyeurism and random violence, right up to a final scene”
Scott Foundas - LA WEEKLY


"a nail-biter...all panicky anxiety and no frills, right down to the grim, 11th-hour"
Maitland McDonagh, TV GUIDE


"atmosphere of dread is built effectively and West's technique is strong."
Andrew O'Hehir, SALON.COM


"Ti West's smartly compact and radical survival thriller"
Robert Koehler - VARIETY


"...An exercise in low budget filmmaking at its finest...
packing a punch so hard I almost fell out of my seat"

Dick Hollywood - FILMJERK


"One of the best examples of five-dollars-and-a-dream genre filmmaking I've seen
Trigger Man manages to keep the viewer on the edge of his seat with an intentional lack
of stylization, relying purely on timing and events to create mood."

Michael Lerman - INDIEWIRE


"Every aspect of this movie has been wonderfully choreographed to create
a film that goes well beyond mere entertainment,
simultaneously shocking and challenging the audience."



"an intense exercise in brutal survival horror
that will potentially keep you on the edge of your seat."

by FEARnet - FEARnet


"a surprisingly effective and suspenseful little chiller…
a virtual masterpiece of foreshadowing and unexpected gruesome surprises"
Paul Birchall - LA CITY BEAT


“It's a low-budget twist on a Michelangelo Antonioni film”
Grady Hendrix, THE NEW YORK SUN


"...A film that goes well beyond mere entertainment"


"...An intense exercise in brutal survival horror"



Sometimes in the Woods, Hunters Become the Hunted

Devised for minimum fuss and maximum tension, “Trigger Man" is the little thriller that could. Claiming inspiration from actual events, this smartly written sophomore feature from the young director Ti West -whose debut, “The Roost," exhibited a similar disdain for excess - begins at a dawdle and ends at full gallop. Only the patient will be rewarded.

Unfolding during a single day, “Trigger Man" follows three New York friends on a first hunting trip to the woods of Wilmington, Del. For the opening 40 minutes, the movie simply allows us
to tag along as the men, wearing orange safety vests and carrying rented rifles, search inexpertly for deer and converse in the shorthand of longtime pals. (“So she's got you smoking again?") As jumpy as a stalker, the camera skulks behind, sneaking close and pulling back so abruptly that you would think that the hunters themselves were the prey. Uh-oh.

The economy of Mr. West's filmmaking (he also wrote, shot and edited the movie) demands an uncluttered soundtrack: for long stretches we hear nothing but birdsong and rustling leaves. When violence occurs - with jolting swiftness - the director maintains his composure, staging his steel-trap finale in the eerie emptiness of an abandoned factory complex. It will be interesting to see if this reserve survives the increased pressures and budget of his current project, “Cabin Fever 2."



'Trigger' happy and drama hungry

With a setup that calls to mind "Deliverance" and "Old Joy," "Trigger Man" opens with three friends, urban hipoisie all, getting together for a weekend hunting trip to celebrate the impending marriage of one of their own. None of them seems to be particularly adept as outdoorsmen; they seem to simply like the way toting a gun around the woods goes with their beer-drinking, tattoo-wearing self-image. Once a certain underlying tension among the trio has been established, it's no spoiler to say things start to go very wrong in a hurry, and they are soon plunged into a nightmare scenario beyond their imagining.

Written and directed by Ti West and executive produced by longtime indie-horror stalwart Larry Fessenden, "Trigger Man" far too quickly leaves behind its human drama in favor of pure adrenalized terror, sending its characters on the run in a dense forest. The suspense the film does elicit is rather remarkable, in that West often does create something out of nothing, leaving the what, why and how of unfolding events largely unexplained. A guy crouched by a tree can be scarier than you think. Any emotional or psychological undercurrents, however, are offhandedly swept aside, making the film, even at a brisk 80 minutes, seem rather hollow.


TV GUIDE by Maitland McDonagh

Writer, director, producer, cinematographer and editor Ti West's ultra low-budget follow-up to his debut feature, THE ROOST (2005), is a stripped-down story of hunters who become the hunted.

Scruffy New York City pals Reggie (Reggie Cunningham), Sean (Sean Reid) and Ray (Ray Sullivan) get together for a day-long hunting trip in Delaware, though it quickly becomes clear that only Sean knows anything about hunting. The outing is basically an excuse for them to get away from their girlfriends and drink beer in the great outdoors. Sean supplies the guns — bolt-action rifles with scopes — walks them through weapons-handling 101, hands them their orange safety vests and leads the way through the woods. There's some ribbing and a lot of walking; Reggie actually spots a deer, but fails to take a shot — that's the cue to break out the beer and rehash the nonevent. And then Sean strolls over to a cliff to urinate and drops, nailed by a bullet between the eyes. What began as a lazy day of slacking in the woods becomes a desperate fight for survival that pits a pair of woefully unprepared city boys against a sociopathic sharpshooter.

Much of the film unfolds in real time, and for the first half hour West makes the nervy decision to show what hunting is really like: a lot of standing around and waiting. He also shoots long sequences without dialogue, letting the sound of running water and rustling branches dominate the soundtrack. But stick with it: Once the story goes DELIVERANCE (1972), it's a nail-biter, and the minimalist aesthetic is an asset rather than a liability — the handheld follows shots that lend a you-are-there authenticity. The film is all panicky anxiety and no frills, right down to the grim, 11th-hour cameo appearance by indie filmmaker Larry Fessenden (HABIT, THE LAST WINTER), who served as producer.


NEW YORK SUN by S. James Snyder

October 17, 2007

West Sees the Forest for the Trees

Regardless of what audiences may think of the opening hour, director Ti West dishes out a genuinely terrifying payoff in the final 20 minutes of "Trigger Man," stringing together three heart-stopping moments that coalesce into a fascinating, frantic release of tension. The best of these moments involves little more than a female jogger as she runs through the woods, up to the edge of a cliff, and stops to stretch in the midday sun. The camera pans back and forth, watching her stretch. In this most mundane of moments, the hair on the back of your neck stands to attention as you wait for some unknown menace — maybe God himself — to swipe in and destroy her.

Stealing in parts from Gus Van Sant's "Gerry" and John Boorman's "Deliverance," Mr. West gleefully inverts the explicit, shock-a-minute formula that has rendered so many recent commercial horror films dead on arrival and turns those overt tricks into an oblique test of patience, a silent form of existential dread.

As a showman, Mr. West is keenly adept at reversing audience expectations from the very first frame. With a title like "Trigger Man," and boasting the name of a director already known among horror fans for his B-horror tribute, "The Roost," Mr. West seems determined early on to go against the grain and string his fans along, avoiding any hint of violence or danger for more than half the film. Instead, as the minutes creep, we watch a trio of young New York City men — played by Reggie Cunningham, Ray Sullivan, and Sean Reid — leave for the countryside, setting off on foot with hunting rifles in tow and itchy trigger fingers.

It almost seems a cruel joke on Mr. West's part to offer us these men and these guns, in a movie with this title, and to then bring the conventional narrative to a halt. As they hoof it through the woods, all notions of dialogue or drama evaporate, and we find ourselves suddenly in the land of "Gerry" — Mr. Van Sant's 2002 antinarrative that featured two men lost in the desert, walking for miles and miles without a word between them. Replace the desert with the forest and you have "Trigger Man": a movie that sits us down with two bored hunters, staring out into the forest with nothing to do.

Yet the farther these bored would-be hunters walk, the more effectively Mr. West draws us away from the movie's opening shot of a glimmering Manhattan skyline. Moving away from the city, away from the car, and increasingly away from one another, the men routinely pick up their rifles to look through their scopes, desperate to see anything through their shaky, quivering crosshairs. And then, before we have time to realize what's happening, Mr. West's camera has adopted the same shaky quality as it pans from man to man and looks down at them from afar, as if they're being watched through a scope. Without words and without a discernable story, the aesthetics come to the fore — every noise, every shift of perspective, every editing cut becoming a momentous event.

The end begins with a whimper. One silenced gun shot sends the men panicking, then a few more rounds leave one of them abandoned and raging, and his encounter with a female jogger turns a convulsing urbanite into a chiseled, crazed savage.

When a film abandons conventions to this degree, it risks alienating dogmatic horror buffs. But Mr. West proves courageous in the way he seemingly abandons any notion of story, making the mystery here not when the killer will strike — à la "Saw," "Halloween," etc. — but who the killer is, why he has chosen this day and this forest, and where his lines of sight lie.

More than anything, the movie is a marvel of sound design and spatial dynamics. Out in the woods, as two bored friends waste the hours (the movie is structured with time markers, much like "The Shining," which impart a real-time feel), it is Graham Reznick's sound mixing that orchestrates the tension, the static sounds of nature mixing with meticulously manipulated ambient noise and hypnotic musical variations. With similar craftiness, as the action shifts from the car to the forest, the cliff, and eventually an abandoned factory, Mr. West seamlessly choreographs the action to progress from dense foliage to dangerous, rugged terrain, to dark corners shrouded in shadows and — most creepy of all — flat, grassy openings that can be seen from those out-of-place buildings in the distance.

Produced by Larry Fessenden, whose own recent film "The Last Winter" amounted to a story about Mother Earth lashing out against the oil plunderers of the arctic, "Trigger Man" is intrigued by similar themes. Having left the glimmering city, where the hunters buy cigarettes at the local deli and argue with girlfriends, they are clearly ill prepared for the dangers of the wild. The silent suspense that envelops their story seems to position these three, and their insignificant weapons, against the vastness of the impenetrable forest. True, the real danger out there somewhere is a man, but as orchestrated here, Mr. West makes the rustling leaves, the gurgling water, and the chirping insects the harbingers of an omnipresent evil. Forget the fake blood — green is the color to fear.


SALON, By Andrew O'Hehir

A few weeks ago, I praised Larry Fessenden's terrific little global-warming horror flick "The Last Winter" as the harbinger of a longed-for new wave in horror, setting us free from the grotesquerie of the "Saw" and "Hostel" series and similar ventures. OK, so viewers haven't exactly flocked to "The Last Winter" in overwhelming numbers, but I'll keep the flame burning. Fessenden is the executive producer of Ti West's lean and mean "Trigger Man," a nearly dialogue-free expedition into the woods with a trio of slacker-ish hunting buddies who become the quarry of unknown assailants.

"Trigger Man" is a tense little production whose budget probably makes "The Last Winter" look like "Waterworld," but it's undeniably effective. There are a handful of gruesome effects but no torture or sadism; most of West's film simply follows our trio of hapless hunters through the sun-dappled Delaware forest, using music and unsettling point-of-view shots to emphasize the possibility that they're not alone. Explanation, exposition and character development are at or near zero, but an atmosphere of dread is built effectively and West's technique is strong. If you're inclined to think that Kelly Reichardt's indie-world fave "Old Joy" could have been improved with some splatter and random shootings to go along with the existential uncertainty, this is your movie.



Howdy folks,
Long time, zero communique. I've been off working on the other side of the movie screen as of late, but I wanted to drop by today to mention a new film that's opening this week, one that's worth a closer look amidst this autumn rush. The picture is Trigger Man, directed by Ti West, and of all the horror films opening in the next few weeks, this is the one to catch. Some of you may have seen West's debut feature a few years back - a grainy, rollicking little funhouse ride entitled The Roost - and his next film, due sometime next year, is Cabin Fever 2. While this work ostensibly belongs to the same genre, it confronts and shatters the conventions of the horror film with such cold precision that audiences expecting another splatterfest may well be confounded. Make no mistake: Trigger Man is definitely a thriller, but those thrills come from a more esoteric and cerebral place than, say, the latest installment of Saw or whatever other Halloween offerings we have in store. It's a refreshing change of pace.

The films is purportedly based on a true story - one whose rich history goes all the way back to The Most Dangerous Game. Three friends venture into the Delaware woodlands for an ill advised hunting trip. They drink some beer and load their guns and wander into the forest. They walk. And walk. Occasionally engaging in banal chatter but mostly just trudging forward in silence. Getting deeper and deeper into the brush. And then, just when that silence has reached its peak, a gunshot echoes through the trees, a burst of blood explodes in the afternoon sun, and..

....well, this is where most films would follow the 'all hell breaks loose' rule of thumb, but West has something different in mind. As the would-be hunters realize that they're (of course) the ones being hunted, as their numbers gradually begin to drop, West twists the ennui of the first half of the film into a taught, numbing sense of dread. He never loses his patience, never gives in to the easy scares. He draws the tension out to the breaking point, and then pushes it even further. There's a certain shot near the end of the film, leading up to the climax, that seems last for nearly ten minutes. Almost nothing happens in it, and in its uneventfulness, it distills the elements of the chase scene to its primal ingredients. It goes from unbearably tense to unbearably boring to unbearably tense,

With its minimalist approach and unaffected naturalism, (not to mention its digital cinematography and the fact that premiered at SXSW in Austin this past spring), one might say that this is the first Mumblecore horror movie (a reference to the circle of twentysomething filmmakers whose work and collective aesthetic has emerged from the festival circuit and into the mainstream over the past few months). But it's also got a more refined pedigree that recalls recent independent masterpieces like Old Joy and Gerry. And, too, it brings to mind nothing less than the work of filmmakers like Antonioni or, even moreso, Tarkovsky. Trigger Man<,/i> is an experiment is sculpting in time - with explosions of brain matter serving as periodic punctuation.



VARIETY - Robert Koehler, June 30, 07

Hunters become the hunted in Ti West's smartly compact and radical survival thriller, "Trigger Man." As distinct from his smart horror debut, "The Roost," as it surely is from his in-the-works studio debut, "Cabin Fever 2," West's pic grafts anti-narrative cinema conventions -- sustained real-time shooting and disdain for overt plot -- onto an action-adventure template. Results are so pared to the bone that the swift ending comes as a shock, and then, in retrospect, as just the right exit. Fine fest tour should broaden to non-U.S. shores, while crafty distribs could find B.O. targets in specialized hunts and focused vid volleys.

After a portentous opening shot of the New York skyline, Gotham buddies Reggie (Reggie Cunningham), Ray (Ray Sullivan) and Sean (Sean Reid) pile into an SUV for a hunting trip. Right off the bat, the film is invested less in Reggie's apparent problems with a needy (off-screen) g.f. than the sheer ecstasy of leaving the city behind for the sun-dappled splendors and vast silences of the forest.

West pointedly observes that the guys aren't exactly Thoreaus when it comes to venturing into nature; when they're not teasing Reggie about being "pussy-whipped," they're itching to break out the brews. Sean has organized the day, and firmly instructs them on the proper use of their bolt-action rifles, complete with scopes. This alone conveys the queasy sense that Reggie and Ray are going out in the woods with no real idea what they're doing.

"Trigger Man" risks everything in the first 30 minutes -- including losing impatient auds altogether -- by rightly insisting on plunging the viewer into the experience of hunting, which is 99% walking and waiting and keeping absolutely silent, and perhaps 1% action. Idle minds may conclude they're watching some "Blair Witch"-y redo or a "Dudes Do Deliverance" revision, but that would miss the pic's marvelous sense of time and space, seemingly empty of purpose yet steadily building tension.
Reggie gets some newbie luck by eyeing a deer, but becomes distracted, and the rest of the day (marked by time markings in a variation on the device in "The Shining") appears to be an elaborate excuse for drinking. Out of nowhere, as Sean is preparing to urinate at the edge of a cliff, he's killed by a bullet. Reggie and Ray dash away, but soon, at a creek bed, Ray is gunned down by a single head shot.

Reggie realizes he's being targeted by a sharpshooter, likely stationed at a nearby abandoned factory. Though his decision to investigate further may seem like a death wish, it also feels like the act of a city guy desperate to avenge his friends' murders.

After a remarkable sequence involving a lone female jogger, Reggie stalks the cavernous factory site, suggesting that "Trigger Man" could easily spin off a vidgame. Contrast between the spooky industrial setting and the sylvan woods surrounding it is stunning, though not as stunning as the ending, which comes upon Reggie and auds with the rude closure life sometimes provides.

Nonpro thesps work naturally in front of West's camera, with none of them straining for theatrics. In what's starting to become a ghoulish inside joke for West's films, his mentor and key backer -- American indie horror specialist Larry Fessenden -- is killed off, just as he was in a bit part in "The Roost."

West, operating with a tiny crew, covers Gotham, the woods and the factory with a sometimes insanely frenetic camera that goes overboard on herky-jerky moves and stuttering zooms. Pic doesn't need such touches, but the long patches of silence tend to balance it out. Composer Jeff Grace comes up with one of the eeriest scores in recent genre pics.



L.A. CITY BEAT by Paul Birchall

Three goofy city slickers (Reggie Cunningham, Ray Sullivan, and Sean Reid) decide to rent rifles and spend the day hunting in a patch of woods in upstate New York. As they trudge through the forest, the handheld camera represents some kind of a stalker, watching them. Then, when the three hunters stumble on what appears to be an abandoned mill by the banks of a river, a shot rings out – and the hunters unexpectedly become the prey, as a far more competent predator starts picking them off, one by one.

With a budget for one digital camera and a plastic baggy of blood, writer-director Ti West still manages to craft a surprisingly effective and suspenseful little chiller. His film is unabashedly small scale, but a virtual masterpiece of foreshadowing and unexpected gruesome surprises. Although it clearly owes a debt of gratitude to The Blair Witch Project, its gradually mounting creepiness is fresh and edgy on its own terms.



FILMJERK - Dick Hollywood 6/29/07

Ti West's sophomore effort "Trigger Man" packs a punch, and a bullet or two as well...

I just returned from a screening of Ti West’s (Director of the Roost and the upcoming Cabin Fever 2) latest psychological horror fright-fest, Trigger Man. An exercise in low budget filmmaking at its finest. With a gritty feel here and a grimy taste there, Ti West has concocted an ultra realistic mind f#*k that will bounce around in your brain during and after the film is over. Slow on the uptake but packing a punch so hard I almost fell out of my seat with the firing of each shot.

The plot is simple. Three friends from New York City go hunting for deer in some undisclosed forested area. One is experienced, the other two just want to drink beer and shoot something. If not a deer, then a squirrel or a tree stump or an empty bottle, or whatever, they just want to shoot something. The majority of the camera work is all hand held with long takes creating a slow eeriness with little action to be found for the first half of the film. Reminiscent of the films Open Water and Wolf Creek, capturing the mundane of real life, as these three friends wander around the forest only to realize that hunting is actually a quite boring and tedious leisure activity. When an unknown assailant shoots and kills one of the friends randomly, the two remaining must try to register what just happened, along with figuring out what the hell they’re going to do to get away and survive. This is where the film ramps up, turns a corner and puts the viewer on edge. Who’s next? What the hell is going on? What would I do in this situation and how are these guys going to get out of this FUBAR?

Though this type film is not for everyone, the slow build will turn off many viewers, but it should appeal to people who like their films with a dark sense of realism. A Cinema Verite/Dogma feel runs through its hand held HD Video veins, as Ti crafts a film filled with terror and suspense in which we are forced to take an active participation in and react to as well, due to the documentary feel the video images give us. I am looking forward to what Mr. West next has in store for us (Cabin Fever 2 as stated above), in which he is currently working on.

Keep up the good work Ti. Dick Hollywood has his eye on you!



INDIEWIRE - Michael Lerman 6/26/07

Ti West's sophomore effort, a low-budget tension-fest entitled "Trigger Man" successfully flips genre on its head in the simplest way possible. West made a splash on the underground horror scene in 2005 with his first film, "The Roost," a throwback to '70s B-horror that satisfies on the visceral levels. Changing gears here, West creates something close to a mumblecore set-up and then, shockingly and without mercy, knocks it down with sudden bursts of violence. One insightful viewer described it to me as "[Kelly Reichardt's] 'Old Joy'...with guns." This description is not too far off from the truth. One of the best examples of five-dollars-and-a-dream genre filmmaking I've seen perhaps, ever, "Trigger Man" manages to keep the viewer on the edge of his seat with an intentional lack of stylization, relying purely on timing and events to create mood. It shows just how talented West's direction really is, and provides a great send-off to this chapter of his indie career as he heads into the final stages of editing the latest installment of the Lionsgate produced franchise "Cabin Fever," which he wrote himself.



VILLAGE VOICE - Scott Foundas 10/16/07

Imagine Old Joy reconceived as a horror movie and you'll be at least partially prepared for Trigger Man, the startling sophomore feature by 26-year- old writer-director (and Larry Fessenden protégé) Ti West, whose vampire-bat epic The Roost played briefly back in 2005. Working from the purportedly true story of three buddies on a Delaware hunting trip attacked by an unseen sniper, West fashions an uncommonly naturalistic terror tale in which the emphasis on landscape and the passage of time owes less to cut-and-run splatter-cinema hallmarks like Last House on the Left and I Spit on Your Grave than to the work of experimental filmmakers like Michael Snow and Chantal Akerman. Rife with echoes of 9/11 and the Virginia Tech shootings, Trigger Man denies its audience conventional narrative satisfactions while creating an almost unbearable atmosphere of voyeurism and random violence, right up to a final scene that teases us with resolution, only to devolve into yet another enigma. Who's gunning whom in Trigger Man? The point is that it scarcely matters in a world where everyday life has become a deadly contact sport.



BLOODY-DISGUSTING - Johnny 99 4/24/07

Ti West’s second feature after the entertaining and dark natured “The Roost” is an unexpected curve. A curve that is both fresh and absorbing. The film is about movement that seems hopeless, fore long and increasingly urgent. It’s about loyalty and strength.

The plot concerns three friends who go hunting for the weekend before one gets married. They drink beer, shoot at trees and stroll endlessly through dense wooded forest till they come to a cliff that overlooks an abandoned industrial site.That’s when things turn bad. They find themselves on the other side of the gun and must fend for their lives. There is a breathtaking scene involving a jogger and the massive looming factory in the background that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Everything that occurs in this movie serves a purpose; Ti West focuses on quality rather than quantity. The plot, which seems simple enough, gradually takes on an eerily disturbing nature. The dialogue is sparse, but West uses it as strength, allowing events and cinematography to speak volumes about the characters. The violence, though disturbing, also acts as an integral piece of the film. The scenery is spectacular and Trigger Man makes some of the best use of foreshadowing and sound design I've seen.

Many will compare this to Gus Van Sants Trilogy: Gerry, Elephant and Last Days. It seems that the finer subtleties of filmmaking presented in Trigger Man are lost on today's generation of moviegoers whose cinematic palates have been cloyed with multi-million-dollar special effects, unimaginative dialogue, mindless violence and saccharine plots. Every aspect of this movie has been wonderfully choreographed to create a film that goes well beyond mere entertainment, simultaneously shocking and challenging the audience.

I would love to see what he could do with a bigger budget. I feel that Ti West is here to stay.



FEARnet by FEARnet 4/15/07

It seems as though horror fans have given up on monsters. Whether it’s due to the fact that they’ve been disappointed time and again by poorly crafted CGI creature effects, no longer finding them convincing enough to be frightening, or because they’ve simply grown tired of suspending their disbelief. Having taken a chance on one too many far fetched plots, people are turning more and more to the gritty, realistic side of horror for their scares. Maybe it’s just a sign of the times, the current collective subconscious deciding that human beings themselves are the monsters, far more terrifying than any fictional beast created in a Hollywood studio.

Whatever the reason, films with more believable, down to earth, people-are-evil plotlines like Hostel or The Devil’s Rejects have become genre favorites while even the most finely crafted monster movies, like The Descent for example, disappear from theaters barely a week after opening. The fans have spoken, and what they’ve demanded is for horror films to once again come infused with some degree of real life terror. Well, those searching for yet another dose of that scary-because-it-could-really-happen (or in this case, did happen) brand of chills should look no further than Trigger Man, the newest offering from genre director Ti West.

When three young New Yorkers gear up and head out of the city on all day hunting trip, they’re expecting little more than an opportunity to spend some time with old friends and have a little fun. What they get instead is an absolute nightmare, when one by one they begin to get picked off by a seemingly invisible sniper, hidden so well they have no idea where the shots are coming from. Soon, only one is left standing, and despite the shock of the situation and his inexperience with a weapon, he must attempt to keep his cool and make his way out of the park in order to survive.

Bearing a classic “inspired by true events” tagline, you can’t get much more realistic than Trigger Man. All of the actors put in very convincing performances, delivering totally plausible dialogue and coming off as characters which definitely feel like real people as opposed to brainless stereotypical horror victims. The shaky, handheld camera work lends a fair amount of realism, making it feel as if you’re right there in the woods with them, but it does get a little excessive at times, especially all the back and forth zooming.

Stylistically, the film is similar in some ways to director West’s earlier feature The Roost, but whereas that was an updating of a classic late night spook show, Trigger Man is more along the lines of a modern day Deliverance. Both films feature slow, drawn out sequences with little or no dialogue, and while some might find them overly long or boring, West effectively uses them to control the pace and lull the viewer into a false sense of calm.

This works particularly well in Trigger Man, where the moments of quiet are ripped apart by the sound of the killer’s rifle, creating a heightened level of suspense and making the unexpected attacks all the more startling. Some of the more hardcore fans might find it a little light on the gore and bloodshed in comparison with several of the other grisly trap-them-and-kill-them films.