THE SNARE (2017)

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THE SNARE (2017)
Written and Directed by C.A. Cooper

Alice, her friend Lizzy and boyfriend Carl decide to spend the weekend away at the seaside, after stealing the keys to an apartment managed by Lizzy’s estate-agent father. All seems like a blast, that is until the trio find themselves stuck in their top floor apartment with no phone line, no mobile signal and a broken elevator to contend with. Trapped in a building which no-one knows they’re in, the three must do whatever they can to survive but is there an evil force at work keeping them there?

THE SNARE is a British horror thriller which takes place in an undisclosed coastal location in the UK where three friends’ lives are about to unravel with dire consequences. Drinking beers, smoking pot and just having fun as young adults do seemed to be the plan but something sinister lying in wait seems to have other plans for trio as their trip away turns into a living nightmare they look unlikely to survive. With limited food and water, it’s only a matter of time before supplies run out and then what?

From the get go, it’s apparent something isn’t quite right. We’re introduced to the character of Alice, a young woman who lives with her disabled father who seems a bit too close for comfort, invading her personal space as she’s half dressed. He asks about her friend Lizzy and her boyfriend and stares at an old photo commenting on how much Alice is like her mother. Without much being said between the two, we get the feeling there’s something going on between father and daughter and as the movie unfolds, we discover those secrets. The character of Alice herself is an enigma though as she wanders around in a daze with a constant look of fear etched upon her face. Her interactions with boisterous Carl and subdued mate Lizzy seem to be either flat and unresponsive or crazed as they find her in states of panic after so-called ‘nightmares’. When the group find themselves stuck on the top floor of the building (there’s no stairs, strangely), Alice is immediately struck with fear and begins to see things, visions of other people inhabiting their apartment with not-so-good intentions. However, she decides to keep these visions to herself as Carl and Lizzy’s health slowly begins to decline.

What we have in this movie is three people who slowly lose their sanity when deprived of the things we need to survive, mainly food and water. They have shelter and warmth doesn’t seem to be an issue but the hunger and thirst strikes a blow to the trio as their skin complexion worsens and lathargy sets in. In scenes reminiscent of Xavier Gens’ The Divide, they turn animalistic in order to survive. Humanity has gone out of the window towards the end of the film but will they be stuck in that room forever or will someone find them? Or are Alice’s fears correct, that something evil is indeed keeping them there, trapping and tormenting them for whatever reason?

Though wonderfully shot, THE SNARE drags its feet a little with scenes involving Alice’s character staring into the abyss but supporting characters Carl and the lesser-used Lizzy work rather well to counteract this. The real star of the show is the character of Carl, played by Dan Paton, as he perfectly captures what I imagine someone’s decline would be like having been bereft of the things needed to survive healthily. That’s not to say I agree with the character or his actions but out of the three, he seemed to be the one falling from humanity and mortality the quickest and therefore the only one I felt like you could understand.

The film ends in an ambiguous way, allowing the viewer to make up their own mind on what happened though it certainly points at a particular outcome. Unfortunately, the slow build up and weak script in the latter half of the film lacks the momentum to really deliver the punch required at the conclusion. However, if the desire was to inflict the same desperation which the characters feel onto the viewer, then mission accomplished. You want their suffering to end and in turn your own if only to push the story along and, by the end of the movie, I was grateful that some sort of conclusion had been reached.

A real slow-burner of a movie, THE SNARE acts more like a psychological horror but with such little character development of the main lead, it remains a hard one to warm to.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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About Bat 4417 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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