The first film of director, co-writer and editor (he also is in the movie) James Watts, Death Trip is the story of four friends — including co-writer Kelly Kay — has pretensions of art and feels improvised, but the most planned scenes strike the hardest. There’s a great slasher here, but sadly, it takes forever to get through some of this to see what could be.
Getting out of the city, Kelly and her friends soon learn some dark things about the townies, but to get there, you’ve going to have to watch them smoke weed, drink and have long conversations that descend into mumblecore instead of driving the plot forward.
That said, the scenes at the party and the awkwardness of the situation — I once stayed in a destroyed motel with an ex-girlfriend on a roadtrip and some guy passed her a note about wanting to party, which frightened her so badly that she slept holding a knife, so this scene felt like that — is the best part of the whole movie. I know that this film can do that, so sitting through everything else to get through that isn’t a slow burn or a build. It’s dross and boredom.
That said, the film looks great and has moments of true dread. I loved the quick burses of the mayhem and gore that was coming interspersed throughout the film. And I think that Watts and Kay are both quite talented. I hope that they learn from this movie — and hey, films are subjective so you may love it — and make something even better.
Death Trip is available demand from Gravitas Ventures and Kamikaze Dogfight.