4 days ago
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Trespassing Is An Evil Thing To Do
Graduate student Mark (Daniel Gillies) is doing his thesis on local mythology. Mark is interested in a myth that has come to be about a New Orleans plantation. Years ago a son killed both his parents there, so Mark is interested in why this case is so well known when you hear about cases like it somewhat often in the news, yet the houses they happen in don't become haunted like this one is supposed to be. He interviews Doctor Rosen (Kurtwood Smith), mostly because he was said to have treated the son before he killed his parents. Rosen tells Mark that back before the Civil War, the plantation was known to be a place where slaves were owned. The slaves are said to have cursed the land of the plantation so that anyone that trespasses will go crazy. Rosen doesn't believe in the curse, but does offer it up as an explanation. With Eric (Jeff Bryan Davis), Tyler (Clayne Crawford), Kristy (Estella Warren) and Sharon (Ashley Scott) in tow, Mark and company set out to the plantation, without permission to be there, to prove there is no such thing as a curse.
Trespassing starts off with showing us the killings that took place nearly twenty years ago. The son is dressed in animal hide it looks like, which can be either very weird or laughable. Since they showed this first, and talked about it several times through the rest of the movie, I think people assume that son is still alive. His body was never found, but Trespassing ends up being more than just a stalk and slash film. Even though Trespassing can become confusing at times, it tries to be more of a psychological horror film instead of a straight slasher film. There are moments where it is a slasher, but you are never sure who is doing the killing. At least you're not really supposed to know. Writer/director James Merendino has a slightly weird way to tell his story. One scene was shot three times from three different places. Eric yells at Mark and Mark answers back. Then we see this same thing again, except it is from Mark's point of view. Then again but from Tyler's point of view. I didn't get why we needed to see where each person was at during this sequence. I guess to show that each person was alone? Not that it played into the plot any really. It did add to a scene shortly later, but I still don't think we needed three versions for this. There is also a scene where we see tons of animal traps on the ground. What it had to do with anything is still a mystery, other than giving one actor a reason to limp for a while.
Trespassing isn't a gory film at all. There is some blood, and we see one person get caught in a very large animal trap, but it isn't what I would call a gory film at all. The acting was just okay. Not what I would call bad, but hardly great either. A lot of people seem to pick this one up for Estella Warren. I don't really see the why of that. I liked Ashley Scott a little more, but that is just me. Didn't care for her hair too much though. I know, silly thing to complain about, but it is true.
When I rated Trespassing on Netflix, I decided to give it three stars. But the longer I think about this movie, the less I start to like it. I still don't feel it was a real bad movie, but it could have been a whole lot better as well. The action scenes, what little of them there are, were filmed in a way that you could barely tell what was going on, if you were lucky. I got that everyone was going crazy, each at their own pace I believe, but did it have to be so confusing at times? Some more back story, to either the slaves or the family that was killed, would have been nice. There was just enough there to get the point across, which is fine, but more would have made things a bit more creepy. Not everything was bad though. There were some moments where the tension was high. I also enjoyed that the it left the story open to let us figure out if what we watched should be taken at face value or not. Trespassing isn't a complete loss, but it isn't one I would tell people they should try and watch if they get the chance either.
2 out of 5 When you know there is a lot of traps around, do your best to step in one anyway