New Horror Releases: Flytrap (2016) - Reviewed

Flytrap was released on VOD yesterday. Check out our review. 

Flytrap begins with a verbal narrative. It is here we meet Jimmy, sitting on a park bench in a crowded city. The intro immediately sets up the film with a poetic overture. It’s a classic introduction that doesn’t need to work too hard setting up a film. It’s a nice platform that allows viewers to absorb the story and get right into the film without being dragged through too many needless details. Before the movie officially begins we have already met the lead character, and are introduced to his inner thinking. It’s a smart starting point that is very effective in grabbing a viewer's attention. 

Flytrap plays out like an episode of The Twilight Zone. While things may look normal, there is a hidden story that is waiting to be uncovered. The film focuses on Jimmy, an English astronomer who moves to the United States to take a job at a California university. After arriving in the states, he meets Mary Ann, a strange woman who's takes an immediate uncanny interest in him.

A good portion of this film takes place inside a house. Even with the confined setting, the story unfolds at a reasonable pace. To help establish a timeline, Flytrap plays out in three chapters, each divided by day of the week titles to help progress the story. The film maintains an often comedic suspense, which at times can seem repetitive. Although given the theme and story of captivity, it could be a deliberate approach by writer/ director Stephen David Brooks. Flytrap doesn’t give too much away in the how and why department. While it doesn't particularly hurt the film, a revaluation or two could have really propelled this film to a higher level. It’s nice to leave an audience with room for interpretation, but sometimes too much can make for a story that seems unfinished. The film is often reminiscent of The Stepford Wives. Mary Ann’s appearance, and her polite demeanor and posture all seem modeled after the mid-century American housewife. It gives the story a nice retro vibe, especially considering tunnel vision created by the dominant indoor setting.

You sure are pretty. Let's change that.
Flytrap ends much like it begins, with a narrative that continues the ideals established in the beginning. It works nicely, challenging viewers to question and interpret the story. For a film that keeps many mysteries to itself, it’s a smart end cap that helps pull everything together. Rather than leaving the film entirely open, it does give a hint at a conclusion. With a talented cast you can count on one hand, and a story that allows viewers to color outside the metaphoric lines, Flytrap is a mysterious film that calls to question the lasting effect of our popular culture. Be it our modern society, or past generations, it is a reflection of our mannerisms, humor, and fashion as a species. The rest is left to interpretation.

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-Lee L. Lind