Review: Fox Trap (2016)

When a prank goes horribly wrong a group of friends have to pay for it with their lives eight years later in this fun homage to classic slashers.

Slasher movies have always flooded the DTV marketplace as they are quick to make and cheap to produce and ultimately the go to sub-genre for student filmmakers. With this easy access, the vast majority of these films are bound to be either completely unwatchable or so devoid of talent that you end up wondering why you bothered. I’d be lying if I told you Fox Trap breaks new ground or plays outside the box, it doesn’t, but what it does well is emulate the best aspects of past slasher favourites and provides a thriller that will surely please genre fans.

Keeping with tradition, Fox Trap opens with a prologue. It’s prom night and a group of friends prank one of their fellow classmates, naturally the stunt goes horribly wrong. Fast forward eight years later, and the same group of friends have all received invitations to a reunion at an isolated manor house in the middle of nowhere. Tensions are high as some meet up for the first time since that fateful night, not to mention there’s a masked maniac on the loose offing the pals one by one. By the time they realise that something is wrong they’re trapped with nowhere to run and now must fight and attempt to determine who wants them dead.

Slasher fanatics reading that plot summary will be fondly reminiscing about classics such as Terror Train (1980) and The House on Sorority Row (1983), and whilst my mind kept going back to those movies whilst watching this, it never felt like it was ripping those movies off but rather its throwback style was both an homage and continuation of the spirit of those beloved titles. The latest glut of slasher wannabes have all tried too hard to come up with characters that can be the next Jason Vorhees or the next Leatherface – menacing, muscle-bound neanderthals who only grunt and kill. Very few filmmakers attempt to craft a mystery that keeps the viewer intrigued till the end and that’s one of Fox Trap’s biggest strengths. Don’t get me wrong the grunt and kill slashers are fun but there’s always something refreshing about finding one that cranks up the tension and has you guessing till the final reveal.

Special kudos to the cast of Fox Trap, consisting of mostly unknown faces but each one brimming with talent. Everyone did a fine job but special mention goes to Becky Fletcher, Kate Lister, Julia EringerTherica Wilson-Read and Charlene Cooper who as the film’s scream queens excel at encapsulating their respective characters’ distinctive, albeit clichéd, personalities. I found myself rooting for these characters by the third act of the film and each kill landed that much stronger when some were unlucky enough to be caught by the killer, one particularly gruesome kill involving a hammer was quite gory and memorable.

I thoroughly enjoyed Fox Trap – how cool is it that this was a British production? Proportion Productions are on a roll lately with this and their erotic thriller, Darker Shades of Elise (2017), and judging from their future projects more horror is in store for gore-hounds. If you’re a slasher completionist then you need to track down this film ASAP; for those looking for a fun scary night hiding under the blanket, give this movie a spin.

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