I’m just going to say this now and get it out of the way – I think Ti West is one of the best directors living and working today. In spite of that Ti West’s middle movie, TRIGGER MAN, has sat on my que for months.
Because I’m a creature of mood more than anything else and after reading the description I knew it would be good but every time it came up I would unfairly preempt it because I ‘wasn’t in the mood’ for what I assumed would be a bit more of an action/drama. Sometimes I just don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, okay?
Trigger man is an exceptional film executed in the same 70’s low budget grind-manner that House of the Devil is. Only here we don’t have the Satanism themes – instead this is more of a man vs. man in all out bloody malevolence the likes of which was made infamous by such iconic films as I Spit on Your Grave or maybe even Deliverance, on a bigger studio scale (can’t think of any other examples off the top of my head – comment if You can). The plot is bare simple – three friends head off into the wilderness of Upstate New York for an impromptu hunting trip only to discover that they themselves are being hunted – by a sniper!
Now, as I stated earlier the set-up didn’t exactly grab me either, but here again friends we need to remember to trust in those who have treated us nice. The fact is that to describe the film in anymore detail would precipitate spoiling certain elements of it, so trust will have to do. And it should be noted that that trust works two ways – if you are not a fan of Mr. West’s slowly unfolding exposition style you WILL NOT be a fan of Trigger man, a film that lets the tension build so slowly, if you didn’t read the synopsis going in you might have ended up wondering where the hell the film was going.
West goes for that almost Lynch-like treatment of time in relation to unfolding of events – no film-lapse could do justice the malevolent unease he crafts from nothing but inactivity. I for one find this not only refreshing in the era of the stutter-edit technique*, and while not everyone can do it right Ti West proves once again that he most certainly can.
* Think empty-v + ADD – while it works for someone like Guy Ritchie
(usually) who jumps around because so to does his story, it mostly is
just insulting to those of us who can still sit still long enough to
enjoy a movie, not just narrative music videos.