"Would you rather drink a cup of your Nans period blood or eat a nutty old shit out of her arsehole?" This is just a taste of the conversation enjoyed by three adult friends - troubled Alice (Eaoifa Forward), hot blonde pal Lizzy (Rachel Warren) and her wide-boy fella Carl (Dan Paton) - while driving towards a weekend break at the seaside. It transpires that Lizzy's father sells apartments there and she's managed to illicitly procure the keys for one of these places.
Upon arrival they discover that, what with it being the middle of winter, the apartment block is empty as she'd promised. Which is how they want it: Lizzy and Carl just want to drink, get high and fuck, while Alice is seeking to simply chill.
However, their fun is cut short on the second morning when a hungover Carl tries to take the lift downstairs. The lift doesn't come. He then opts for the stairwell but the door to that is locked. Suddenly our three protagonists are trapped in their top-floor apartment. The landline in their apartment is dead. Lizzy's mobile phone can't get a signal, Carl's has run out of battery and Alice has left hers in the car outside. Oops.
Could it be that the caretaker has popped over earlier that morning and inadvertently locked these revellers in, as per Alice's suggestion? Or could something more sinister be afoot? Carl seems to think they've been set up: "we ain't seen no-one but it don't mean no-one ain't seen us" he reasons.
Our trio grow increasingly hapless as they fail to ask "why" they're trapped, and simply flounder around looking for a way out. Carl takes to the balcony, only to quickly realise they're several storeys up and a jump for the ground would result in certain death. He tries shouting out to alert any potential passers-by but it would appear there's no-one in the vicinity.
Tempers fray when the threesome realise they're not going to be missed any time soon either. Lizzy's parents are away holidaying for a whole month; Carl's folks won't expect to see him until Christmas; Alice ... well, let's just say there's no love lost between her and her father.
As their incarceration continues, the trio lounge around, bicker occasionally, and - in Alice's case - enjoy the odd moment of private contemplation, complete with disturbing flashback scenes which afford us crucial insight into where her character's at.
There isn't really much more to THE SNARE story-wise. At least, not without me spoiling it for you. There's an ambiguity to events as they progress which is difficult to discuss here - but when the final act reveals itself, you'll have either sussed what was happening from a very early juncture or enjoy a none-too-original twist. While I fell into the former camp, there was enough to engage me en route.
For a start, performances are strong. The characters aren't too likeable, granted, but at least the cast portray them with conviction. Alas, Alice is clearly the person we're meant to identify with, and she's too (understandably) morose to really connect. Smile and the audience smiles with you, mope around constantly and we're inclined to switch off...
The digital photography is nice, editing is taut and pacing is deftly handled. While the story is slight and, conceptually, we've been here before, THE SNARE holds the attention and therefore comes with a mild recommendation.
The film is now available through On Demand, via distributors Uncork'd Entertainment. We were sent an online screener and I can say everything looked sharp, clean, bright and well-framed. English audio was reliably clear and glitch-free throughout.
Writer-director C A Cooper's THE SNARE is best described as a psychological thriller for the most part, but it does build to an impressively violent final act which should sate any horror nuts who've been wondering up until that point whether it was going to deliver.
Give it a go.
Review by Stuart Willis
|Released by Uncork'd Entertainment|