The Tripper Review

Poster Art Country : USA
Year: 2007
Genre: Slasher
Format: Cinema
Running Time: 93 minutes
Distributor: Coquette Productions

Horror has a new slasher icon. He's got a bad disposition and an axe to grind, which is currently in his hands. And he wears a Ronald Reagan mask....

Directed by David Arquette. Written by David Arquette and Joe Harris. Starring Jamie King, Stephen Heath, Lukas Haas, Jason Mewes, Paul Reubens and Marsha Thomason.

David Arquette is one of the coolest guys you are ever going to meet. Down to earth, easy to talk to, and obviously knows his horror very well. So, itís easy to see why I liked The Tripper so much. At it's best, itís an effective shocker with an unhealthy atmosphere that seeps into your very bones. If you could give a film a hit of acid and splash it with some of the best slasher films ever made, this would be the outcome. The usual vapid teen-market fright movies aim to keep the audience giggling with apprehension. 'The Tripper' is more ambitious. This movie wants to hurt you. Although it deliberately apes the grainy film stock and cheap production values of the gutbucket 1980s slasher films that inspired it, there is nothing amateurish about this movie.

The Tripper

The actor-turned-director co-scripted (with Joe Harris) and directed this political horror feature concerning a group of friends who are stalked by a psychotic killer with a Ronald Reagan fixation during an outdoor music festival. Once The Tripper gets past its shocking setup, it not only gets its bearings, it does so with some degree of in-joke humor before letting the story get its creepiness cred going. As soon as the film makes it to the forest, it becomes literally bathed in dread. From here the narrative explodes and follows a group of twenty-somethings as they travel to a love and peace concert, hosted by a sleazy promoter (Paul Reubens) in the very woods that the opening tragedy occurred. The group consists of Jamie King, Stephen Heath, Lukas Haas, Jason Mewes and Marsha Thomason. Thomas (The Punisher) Jane plays the local sheriff and David Arquette, cameos as a backwoods redneck. David's brother Richmond Arquette plays Deputy Cooper with a degree of subtle hilarity and his famous wife Courtney Cox has one the funniest scenes in the film. The acting is accomplished.

The soundtrack uses well-chosen tracks without irony, pulling us into mood. Every slo-mo and strobing effect pushes our apprehension higher. It is grim, unrelenting and savage, and it is destined to become a genre classic. After seeing this one, you won't just lock your doors, you'll nail boards over your windows. I will never think of Ronald Reagan in the same light. He now joins the ranks of Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees, and can quip the one liners as good as (or maybe even better) than Freddy or Chucky could.

The Tripper

Unlike a lot of other reviewers, I donít in the least object to the gory business, I embrace it. There is grue a plenty in this film... heads are chopped off, guts are ripped out, arms are hacked off, and the blood flows like wine. My only complaint with the film was the male full frontal nudity. I could have lived my whole life without seeing that and been just ducky. Other than that, I would say The Tripper is one of the best slasher films I have seen in quite some time. Arquette has written and directed an excellent throw back the long lost films of the 80s. Even the killer's motive is revealed in a cool way by referencing Reagan's poor choices in 'Reganomics'. Even at that, I wonít soon forget the implied horrors down the watery corridor's in the forest. Thatís the kind of atmosphere that makes me want to see what Arquette does next.


Review by John Gray, for Pitofhorror.com

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