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Triggered (haha) by the release of “The Innkeepers” and the frequent mention of director Ti West as a somewhat hopeful figure on the horizon of horror and terror (cinematically speaking), I was doing some homework: Trigger Man is a tale of thee dudes going out for a weekend in the woods, six-pack and hunting rifles included. You do expect something to go wrong in that setting, and believe me, it does. What’s interesting is how long it takes the trip to go pear-shaped. Because that setting is such a red flag, and because one trip member is floating on a cushion of creepiness and instability from the outset, there is immediate tension once our band of three reaches their destination, and then… nothing happens for very long time. This part is maybe what I appreciated most about “Trigger Man”, the courage to not follow genre conventions right away, but to let it play out, to torture the audience that is expecting torture, but differently. I have no idea who Ti West is, but he sure has seen his share of genre movies and knows when to stay with a convention and when to break it. When he decides the waiting needs to be over, things happen with a bang, a bang lacking melodrama or arabesques. This is raw, depicted with almost verité-fervour, reminding in style of no-frills assaults as Carpenter’s Precinct 13 or Night of the Living Dead (have those two ever been named in one sentence? Now they have!). In this kind of movie, the camera is often shaky, you sometimes suffer the same disorientation as the characters on screen, there is plenty of heavy breathing and mindless running. Then you hide, and wait. This is what “Trigger Man” is: all these well-seasoned elements brought together, shaken and out comes not an original masterpiece, but a genre product that is somehow refreshingly old-fashioned. And has some bangs in it. And several trigger men.

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