Every now and then, there comes an indie horror movie that surprises viewers in a good way. Unfortunately, Trip is not that movie. From the moment it starts, it is clear this isn’t going to be a good trip, but it only continues to go downhill as the film progresses.
The film opens with a mother standing in her kitchen and her teenage daughter coming to join her in her softball uniform. As the mother grabs a bottle of water – that is missing a label, of course – her daughter explains they’re going to be late. What follows is an absurdly uncomfortable conversation with a mother that sees no problem with not letting her daughter or her husband know the game has been delayed. It then delves into a conversation about scholarships and money before the daughter drops her own bottle of water because of something she saw. The entire scene is chaotic and leads into what is one of the worst acted scenes in the film… and there are plenty of those.
As revealed in the film’s trailer, the daughter soon commits suicide, which leads to the mother (Ally) diving headfirst into a downward spiral. She becomes reclusive and hardly even speaks to her husband, who has tried to hold it together for both of their sakes. When she is visited by a mysterious therapist, Ally soon finds she’s willing to do anything to reconnect with her daughter Samantha. What follows, though, are a series of bad decisions that will impact her life forever.
The most frustrating thing about Trip is that most of the assumptions viewers will come up with? They turn out to be true in the end. A good horror story should keep audiences guessing. Trip lets you connect the dots as you’re watching, tacking away any possible surprise or shock at the “scarier” moments. If you can guess what it going to happen, it is hard to become scared of the unknown.
Things that Trip does do right? It contains the story in a single setting which allows the film to truly make use of its budgetary constraints. More impressively, though, Trip does a pretty great job with makeup and prosthetics to create spooky effects when used. Unfortunately, without a strong cast and a decent story, a well thought out location and great effects do little to make for a worthwhile film.
For those brave enough to give Trip a chance, do yourself a favor and don’t watch the trailer. The trailer not only makes it look more interesting than it is, but it also contains far too many spoilers. In fact, a good portion of the final act is on display in the trailer… which is a rather odd marketing decision. Then again, Trip is an odd movie as a whole, so perhaps the marketing decisions make sense in the end. Either way, Trip wants badly to be a terrifying horror film, but it gets so lost in its own concept that it fails.