DIRECTOR: C.A. Cooper
WRITER: C.A. Cooper
Three friends take a road trip to a seafront apartment block for a drunken weekend away. Once the three friends arrive, they end up getting trapped on the top floor of this apartment block due to the elevator breaking down. With no way down and out, they are stuck and begin to run out of food and water. As the days go on, they begin to start to lose their sanity. Is there something darker at work which is keeping these three friends trapped? A malevolent force?
From the very first moment that The Snare began, this is a movie that is steeped in dread. The film starts with shots of a decomposing rabbit that is filled with maggots. It's this scene that gives you a pretty clear indication of where this movie is heading. Straight off of the mark, this is a film that delivers on mood and tone. It successfully stays its course and never tries to bring you a story with any levity. On a horror level that is thoroughly depressing, this would be considered the perfect horror film.
It doesn't take long for the movie to introduce us to our three leads. Our protagonist, Alice is a woman with many dark secrets. She is always in her own little world. She almost comes across as catatonic in nature. Her best friend Lizzy is a fun, outgoing, and gorgeous blonde girl. Her boyfriend Carl is lewd and predatory in nature. He is the kind of unpleasant douche bag that hangs out at bars and tries to pick up girls while his girlfriend is at home waiting for him. He is the definition of a scum bag.
A huge issue that I had with The Snare was that I was immediately turned off by all three of our main characters. These characters are all utterly unlikable from the first moments that we meet them. There are a few very twisted and disturbing revelations that pour out towards the third act that makes you feel somewhat sorry for Alice, but it's not enough to redeem any of them by the end of the movie. Due to not caring for any of these characters, I didn't feel sorry once all hell breaks loose in the third act.
What The Snare does successfully is that it delivers the horror. This is one disturbing film. A lot of the darker elements that take place are all grounded in reality. While it has moments of the supernatural, it's the authentic moments that hit the strongest. The themes within The Snare range from child sexual abuse and rape. These scenes are uncomfortable and unflinching. The director did the darker moments justice, and while the movie fell short for me in other areas, this is still a bold vision.
I think a lot of the harrowing moments in the film also play quite disturbingly as the trivia on IMDb states that the actors got very method with their roles and it shows. A rape scene in the movie sees our main male actor actually shove his fingers down his throat, vomit and use the bile as lube to rape one of the female characters. We watch our main actress put a live spider in her mouth, the male actor is actually choked on camera and passes out on screen. It's got a few incredibly disturbing scenes, and it all comes down to the commitment of the three main actors Eaoifa Forward, Rachel Warren, and Dan Paton.
The ending of the film is what loses the movie points. The movie has a few subplots that involve the main character and her abusive father which are never adequately explained. We never get to explore that in depth. We also touch on what previously happened in the apartment and what we assume are the previous tenants. When the supernatural elements collide in the third act, it never makes any sense. I feel this is a movie that tries to play the psychological card instead of giving us proper answers. It's a clash of childhood trauma and mental illness taken too far for a fragile character who slowly goes insane. It's been done before and better.
The movie had me questioning a lot of character decisions. For a film where a couple of people are trapped in a top floor apartment where the elevator and stairwell door is shut or not working. Why not have all three of them try and kick the stairwell door in? We see them attempt to break a door down with a chair and give up. They also throw sheets over a balcony once and never try again. The time they spend slowly dying of thirst and hunger seems like a few weeks yet in the first few days; it feels like no real effort is put into their survival. I know people will claim it's a supernatural force not allowing them to leave but we never really see it.
The Snare also has one of the oddest choices for a score. I don't know if director C.A. Cooper is a big fan of Irreversible but with the brutal and realistic rape scene and the continuous use of this same piece of music that he uses whenever danger or trouble is near is so similar to the score by Thomas Bangalter who did the OST for the Gaspar Noe film. It almost feels identical. My favourite piece from the Irreversible soundtrack is called Rectum. It is so similar; I'm not sure if he's lifted the piece directly from that film and used it in this movie. The score in Irreversible is played at a frequency that is made to make you feel nauseous and uneasy which I loved. Is it C.A. paying homage to this film? I'm not sure.
Lastly, something that needs to be mentioned is all the cinematography that is used early on in the film. The movie begins with scenes of our three characters heading to the remote beachfront apartment block. The gorgeous wide shots of the countryside and mountains give this movie a very 'The Shining' opening scene vibe. It's what I thought of as I saw this car driving through empty landscapes. I really think the film has some stunning cinematography in the beginning.
DEATH TOLL: 3
BLOOD AND GORE:
- A decomposing and maggot infested rabbit.
- A mutilated corpse is shown in the bathtub.
- An old woman tries to choke and strangle a young woman.
- A woman is seen bleeding from the mouth.
- Kids are seen pulling a woman up while she has a noose around her neck.
- A woman is beaten and abused by her father.
- A man rapes two women.
- A man is strangled to death with a cord.
- Two women resort to cannibalism.
- Flesh is cut open with an electric carving knife.
- A severed head is found in a drawer.
- A woman's head is bashed in with a high heel.
The Snare is a movie that is hit and miss for me. Judging by the poster for the film, don't go in expecting some 'cheesy' supernatural movie like the poster would have you believe. This is a dark and depressing experience. There is no happiness to be found here. On a horror level, this is a film that delivers some incredibly disturbing moments. The film also contains a few very dedicated performances and some lovely cinematography. However, silly decisions, unlikable characters, an ending that didn't make all that much sense and a few subplots that aren't tied up or given enough time end up losing the film points. This is middle of the road for me.