It’s been said that you only regret the vacation you don’t take, but ‘Terror Trips’, the new horror film by Jeff Seemann proves that sometimes, there is no place like home.
‘Terror Trips’ follows six friends who come up with a “killer business idea” to provide slasher fans with the ultimate fan experience by giving guided tours of the shooting locations of the world’s most famous horror films. To add maximum chills, visitors are treated to late-night screenings of the very movie filmed at that location.
Following the success of their terror travel business in the United States, the group of entrepreneurs plans to expand their operations internationally.
The potential future vacation destinations are locations featured in ‘American Werewolf in London’, ‘Hostel’, and ‘Black Volga’, an obscure Polish film that’s shrouded in controversy.
Upon their arrival, the group learns that the film they are coming to scout is a blight on the town, one that most of its inhabitants are not eager to be reminded of. Having traveled so far, the six friends decide to stay for the night before planning to head out the next morning.
But their plans are soon altered when they discover that a member of their party has mysteriously gone missing.
Determined to find their missing friend, they decide to split up into groups to look for them, but soon, one by one, the remaining members of the group discover that there is truth in the legend of the Black Volga.
Against all odds, the group must now fight for their lives or risk ending up on the operating table.
Although marketed as a horror film, ‘Terror Trips’ feels like it borders more on the thriller genre than anything else. The film establishes a sense of dread when the first protagonists are abducted. The audience is initially led to believe that it’s just a matter of time before all of the protagonists experience the same fate.
Then, part way through, it dangles this prospect of hope that the surviving characters will be able to escape with their lives, only to eventually dash the dreams of those watching. It’s this prospect of hope and the anticipation of dread that makes for a good thriller movie.
What also works for ‘Terror Trips’ is the film’s somber ending, coupled with the fact that the fates of some of the remaining characters are left unknown and it’s up to the audience to essentially determine their inevitable fate.
Where ‘Terror Trips’ falters is in its lack of character development. The audience is aware of the nefarious motives of the film’s antagonist, but there were still too many details that were left unclear.
In thrillers, these details are the key to establishing a proper story. In the beginning, major details of the story can be withheld to build up the suspense till they are eventually revealed over the course of time, but with ‘Terror Trips,’ key details surrounding the antagonist’s backstory were never revealed and, when certain things were eventually revealed, they just provided more questions than answers.
For the viewer to despise the villain, they need to be completely aware of just how evil the character is; with thrillers, the devil is in the details.
On a scale of 1-5 stars, I give this movie 3.5 stars.
When watching ‘Terror Trips,’ it’s easy to draw comparisons between this movie and ‘Turistas,’ as both films’ central plots revolve around a group of international travelers who find themselves falling victim to an organ harvesting operation.
Where ‘Turistas’ focuses on the legend of tourists being kidnapped and having their organs forcibly removed, ‘Terror Trips’ adapts their story from the lesser-known Polish urban legend of the Black Volga, a black Russian model car that was allegedly used to abduct people, especially children. The legend goes that the driver of the vehicle, who some believe to have been a member of the clergy, KGB, or even Satan himself, would drive into small towns and abduct children to steal their blood and, in some versions, their organs.
It’s this use of a lesser-known urban legend and the inclusion of an even lesser-known horror film that make ‘Terror Trips’ unique and worth watching.
Where you can see ‘Terror Trips’ streaming?
‘Terror Trips’ stars Hannah Fierman as Ginny, Abigail Esmena as George, Chaney Morrow as Eli, L.C. Holt as Ed, Roni Locke as Molly, Mike Blaney as Ed, Kate Kiddo as Aleksandra, Iryna Scarola as Katarina, Carol Ann Van Natten as Anna, Ashton Rogers as Ludwig, Bryan Kruse as Jaromir, Kamil Julfa as Konstantyn, and Zak Bainazarov as Eryk.
I have come here to chew bubblegum and write horror, and I’m all out of bubblegum.