The Girl in the Trunk (2024)

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The Girl in the Trunk (2024). 1h 30m

“This is a movie that I got the chance to see via screener thanks to Keir Waller from Strike Media. Now I was leery about checking this out. It is listed on the Internet Movie Database as a thriller. The press release also confirms it as a claustrophobic thriller. It was on Letterboxd that I saw this as considered horror so I agreed to watch for review. It is a concept Iu0026#39;ve seen before so I was wondering what this would do to set itself apart.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eSynopsis: a woman finds herself kidnapped and trapped in the space of a speeding caru0026#39;s trunk.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eWe begin at a car rental place. Thereu0026#39;s an interesting camera angle from below the car where we see someone in high heels get out, try the door and find it locked. It is while she is doing this, someone else in heavy shoes sneaks into the car. The person who drove up is Manda (Katharina Sporrer). She gets knocked out by the second person.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eShe then wakes up as the synopsis says, in the trunk. Her phone is with her so she tries to call for help. Something interesting is that her kidnapper has changed the code. She is also in a wedding dress. While she is trying to figure out what to do, there is a phone call that comes in. The picture is for a man named John (Adam Kitchen). We will learn that they were getting married and she fled.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eManda calls 911. The voice she talks to belongs to Caspar Phillipson. The questions to help her are odd. Manda gets annoyed, but she also wants to get rescued. She soon realizes though; the voice isnu0026#39;t an operator. It is her kidnapper. This person wants to play a game. He offers her the code to the phone if sheu0026#39;ll play along. It becomes a race against the clock out and her decisions have reactions.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThat is where Iu0026#39;ll leave my recap and introduction to the characters. There is more Iu0026#39;ll get into, but we have a simple story here. It is an idea that Iu0026#39;ve seen in movies like The Caller or Trunk: Locked In. What is interesting is that this latter movie came out last year and I saw it at Nightmares Film Festival. Being locked in the trunk of a moving car is terrifying and grounded enough in reality where it is believable. There are also movies like The Vanishing where it is done as well.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eNow what this one does a bit differently is that we have Manda who fled her wedding. We learn more as we go on, but it comes down to her father is demanding. They were rich growing up. He is the head of a bank. Manda works there. It almost seems like he is friends with the family of the man she is marrying. She doesnu0026#39;t officially say this, but her fleeing the wedding is her taking control in her life. Now I didnu0026#39;t grow up rich. This is a concept that I can still understand and it feels real. Not the most original, but still works in the framework here. Iu0026#39;ll say that I thought Sporrer was solid in her performance. I did like the growth that we saw by the end.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eLetu0026#39;s then go over and talk about our villains. The main one is our kidnapper, of course. I thought that he had a good, calm voice which is eerie when we see him shoot people or attacks others. He is also messing with her head by giving information. It isnu0026#39;t until they play a game that he confirms that he will tell the truth from that point on. Iu0026#39;ll credit Phillipson here as he isnu0026#39;t menacing to look at, but that is more terrifying. I think I should also include Mandau0026#39;s father, Stephen Jennings. Heu0026#39;s played physically by Hother Bøndorff and voiced by Christopher de Courcy-Ireland. My guess is due to this taking place in Texas. I did have an issue is that the voice syncing wasnu0026#39;t great. I do like how firm he is in his stance as someone who isnu0026#39;t told no so what his daughter does upsets him more. There are decisions that donu0026#39;t fit for me, but thatu0026#39;s more with the writing.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThere is one last bit for the story. I do think that this does well with playing with our expectations. We see Manda early on break open the trunk by removing the lock. This annoys our kidnapper. It also causes him to stop and someone to see if they need help. He does things to punish Manda and it involves forcing a tube through the backseat into the trunk. This uses CGI to bring what he does to life. It doesnu0026#39;t look great, but it is also the only way to do it safely. I do like seeing cracks with this villain for sure as she pushes his buttons.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eLet me then go over to filmmaking. Iu0026#39;ll say that the cinematography was solid. There are slight issues I have with it. First being how big this trunk seems Manda can almost sit up in it at times. Now our actor isnu0026#39;t the biggest size-wise, but I know when Iu0026#39;ve been inside a trunk, there isnu0026#39;t much room. It has been a while though. I do like getting that perspective. It does good things by going out of the broken lock or through the tube into the backseat. The things that Manda does to learn more information is good. There was more not great CGI as well. When working with a smaller budget, I get it. Other than that, I thought the sound design was solid, especially with hearing through parts of the car. That adds to the atmosphere.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eAll that is left is the acting. Iu0026#39;ve already said that Sporrer and Phillipson are good. They carry the movie for sure. Bøndorff brings good size and look to his role. He seems like a Texan. Jenningsu0026#39;s voice doesnu0026#39;t necessarily fit him. It was jarring. Other than that, Lianna Taylor and Kitchen were solid. Thereu0026#39;s another situation where Lars Hammer Andersen is playing a hunter and Danny Thykær does the voice. They donu0026#39;t fully fit when watching this. It doesnu0026#39;t ruin the movie either, but I noticed this for sure.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eIn conclusion, I thought that this uses a solid premise. Being trapped in a trunk without knowing why is terrifying. Thereu0026#39;s the added element that no one knows where Manda went so it takes time to find her is another. The two leads are solid, so credit to Sporrer and Phillipson. The rest of the cast are fine. Just slight issues with voices not necessarily fitting. This is made well enough. I enjoy cinematography and framing. The issues for me are with CGI. It doesnu0026#39;t ruin this though as there isnu0026#39;t necessarily another way of doing it. Overall, Iu0026#39;d say that this is solid. It doesnu0026#39;t stand out against other movies with a similar premise but is worth a watch.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eMy Rating: 6 out of 10.”


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