Steel Trap (2007)

Steel Trap (2007)

Surviving Each Floor Is The Name Of The Game.

A group of revellers celebrating New Year’s Eve in a high rise building are invited to a mysterious invite to a VIP party on the 27th floor. Joined by a couple of gatecrashers, the group soon realise that they are trapped on the floor and must follow a bizarre series of clues left by the host of the party in order to get out. But each clue leads to a gruesome death to one of the group – can the rest of them make it out alive?

 

For some reason, I had visions of this being a Saw-style film in which a group of people are killed off in bloody ways by a variety of booby traps – after all it is called Steel Trap and the idea of people following a series of clues to their deaths did sound very familiar to anyone who has seen Jigsaw do his thing. However soon after I begun watching, I figured out that I was in fact watching a slasher film. Immediately my expectations dropped because modern slashers fall into to categories – either those that try to do something different with the formula in some way or those that are just content to rehash old, tired clichés in the hope that their audience includes someone who has never seen a slasher before. Can you guess which category Steel Trap falls into?

It’s not the first thing that you’ll notice but it will be one of the main reasons you’ll hate this film – the characters are so annoying! And I mean really annoying. Thankfully the characters are all past the dumb college years but act like moronic teenagers in every other way. They want to drink. They do drugs. They have sex (well sort of). They make really stupid decisions. I can’t believe writers are dumb enough to keep having characters splitting up to investigate things after they know a killer is on the loose. The script throws up such gems as one character suddenly wondering why his phone is showing a ‘signal blocked’ message to which another character replies “it means he must have blocked the signal.” I can almost hear your groans of despair.

I actually like seeing these characters die painful deaths and it’s a pity that the writers weren’t thrown in there too. The actors are terrible as well. I’d swear that at times, some of them looked like they were going to break out in fits of laughter. As with most slasher films, the order of death is pretty easy to figure out so it’s only a matter of time before the bitches and assholes are weeded out leaving the nicer characters left to the end.

The lack of imagination even extends to the killer and his various dispatch methods. Looking like some shop mannequin with an expression-less mask, the killer kills everyone by ways related to the name plates given to them at the beginning of the VIP party. So the ‘pig’ gets butchered open like a pig, the ‘heartless’ has her heart cut out, ‘two-faced’ has her head split in two by an axe, etc. The killer isn’t really given any motives or purpose except to kill everyone throughout the film in inventive ways and this just ends up as a meaningless and well worn out plot device. If there’s no meaning to the themed kills then why bother with them in the first place? The rug gets pulled out from underneath you right at the finale with a plot twist so lame and ridiculous that you’ll either switch the film off right there or just palm your face and roll your eyes in disgust. I don’t know why I didn’t see it coming.

On the positive side, the film is well shot and has decent production values. At least some time and effort has gone into making the deserted floor look impossible to get out of. Even though they’re in a high rise apartment block, you always get the feeling that these characters are isolated and trapped. Quite how someone can seal off a whole floor of a high rise building to set up this elaborate game without raising suspicion is beyond me. But there are few positives to find here. It’s evident that the writing team have seen plenty of slasher films before and they’ve also been watching Saw as there are plenty of elements from each in here. But the story is weak, the surprises and twists are predictable and the film runs like clockwork which isn’t good when you’ve got better films to watch!

 

Steel Crap would be a more fitting title. It’s got a thin premise which struggles to get off the ground by its predictability and lack of imagination and is floored by a ridiculous twist at the end. An instantly forgettable exercise in pointless slasher rehashing!

 

 ★★★☆☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

 

 

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