I’m a sucker for those life or death dilemma horrors. They seem to be as prevalent as when horror went through the found footage phase. So unsurprisingly, the trailer that caught my eye this week was Triggered. It’s about a group of buddies who all get so drunk that they wake up adorned with suicide vests. And they all have a few hidden secrets to boot.
Triggered is directed by Alastair Orr and written by David D. Jones. The trailer wastes no time in becoming more of an instruction manual on exactly what to expect. All the characters take turns in filling us in with the rules of the film. They all have bombs strapped to them. They’re in the woods. The bombs have timers. They can steal more time through killing. And some start with less time than others. The trailer leaves no axe unturned.
Trouble is, it quickly mimics the likes of a Battle Royale (2000)-style flick that’s literally been done to death. But wait, that might not necessarily be a bad thing. As I said, I’m a sucker for these. I did think with a title like Triggered, we would get, perhaps, some semblance of commentary about modern cultural phenomena, i.e. cancel culture—a phrase synonymous with an individual getting “triggered.” However, that doesn’t look like that’s in there, which could be a shame. If it is, it’s not really in the trailer.
A gaming element is hinted at but looks to be thin. The bombs look technologically advanced in a fantasy way. One screen flashes “low score” at one point, which gives the gaming feel of the situation more attention. This interested me the most, along with the introduction of the time-stealing mechanic upon killing people. Especially if the characters are more than just one-note college besties. In fact, the characters will need to be bloody well written, and that is what will set this film apart. However, could the gamification element just be a ploy for attracting copious amounts of Call of Duty: Warzone scrubs?
I don’t think I could stomach generic college students screaming and killing each other for an hour and a half with nothing else to hold onto. It seems the main antagonist is an ex-teacher, which could be intriguing, but again the writing will make or break this one. The acting looks okay, but nothing out of the ordinary as far as films of this ilk go.
I’ll definitely give it a watch. If only to satisfy the question, “just how did they all get bombs strapped to them without realizing?”
Triggered is coming to On-Demand & Digital on November 6.