CAMERA TRAP

5.5 out of 10

Release Date: 17th August 2015 (DVD Premiere)

Director: Alex Verner

Cast: Mark Bonnar, Ana Ularu, Paul Thornley and Ross Marquand

Writer: Alex Verner

Trailer: CAMERA TRAP

Camera-TrapOnce in a while a decent ‘found-footage’ horror film idles along to give the genre a shake. Whilst there’s a lot of shakey camera work in Camera Trap, it’s not all that ground-breaking. What seperates this from the legion of Blair Witch Project wannabes is a very committed cast, as handful of good scares and an unwillingness by the makers to confirm what’s happening.

A wild life documentary crew go up a mountain in Central Asia to try to capture (what they think may be a giant leopard) on camera. They set up a homely camp with lots and lots of tech. Their first enemy is the driving, endless rain. As any idiot knows, electrical equipment doesn’t like water – so they are put back before they begin the search when three quarters of their kit is destroyed. Something is also spooking the local deer population. Why doesn’t the ‘deer stalker’ show up on camera? Could the film crew have inadvertently set camp in the centre of their ‘leopard’s’ lair? Some of these questions will be answered before the small cast is slain by something glimpsed for half a second near the end. Have the pause button ready.

Good acting and a convincing approach to making a documentary put Camera Trap ahead of the pack. It’s authenticity makes it very watchable. It’s such a shame that the film does nothing new as this could have been a genre breakout like The Borderlands.  The cast put in faultless performances and tend to keep bickering to a minimum – it also seems like they may enjoy eachothers company when the pressure’s off. Compare this to recent Extinction – Jurassic Predators (which this shares a plot) and you’ll see that we’re in serious company. Without researching the filmmakers, you can tell maybe one or more of them may have been on an wild location shoot. Extinction was a rush-job and a joke by comparison.

The lack of a decent conclusion could frustrate some viewers but Camera Trap gets away this by the skin of it’s teeth by giving you enough food for thought once the credits roll.

5.5 out of 10 – Competent, quite edgy but ultimately its a well-made found-footage horror with nothing new to offer. At least it convinces for once and makes convincing use of the framing device.

WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT ACTOR IN BEFORE?

  • Mark Bonnar: X Moor, Take Down, Shetland (TV), Line of Duty (TV), Psychoville (TV), The Bill (TV), Casualty (TV), Holby City (TV)
  • Ana Ularu: Chosen, Serena, Anaconda 3
  • Paul Thornley: London Road
  • Ross Marquand: The Walking Dead (TV)
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