Review Index


From THE ROOSTíS Ti West comes this provocative throwback to the wilderness thrillers of the seventies.  TRIGGER MAN may be the very definition of minimal, not to mention concise, pointed and pared-down. 

The Package 
     2005ís THE ROOST, Ti Westís feature debut, was notable for its frank, no-frills approach.  TRIGGER MAN, from 2007, was Westís second film, and has a similarly stripped-down aesthetic.  Viewers of seventies-era classics like DELIVERANCE, OPEN SEASON and SHOOT will recognize a like-minded sensibility at work in TRIGGER MAN, which continues those filmsí argument that when a group of suburban men embark on a hunting trip trouble is sure to follow!
     Like THE ROOST, TRIGGER MAN was executive produced by Larry Fessenden and distributed through Fessendenís company Glass Eye Pix.  Filming took place largely on location in Wilmington Delaware, nearby where Ti West grew up.
     The film hasnít attained the popularity of THE ROOST, but is in many ways just as potent.  The DVD release was by Kino, who specialize in classic and foreign fare, which given the experimental nature of TRIGGER MAN seems appropriate.

The Story
     Three twentynothing guys travel from their home base of New York City to the wilds of Delaware, where they intend to shoot deer and drink beer.  After much aimless wandering in the woods they come upon several deserted warehouses--and one of the guys is shot by an unseen sniper.
     Another of the guys is sniped shortly after, leaving just one.  A woman jogger is also shot, as is a photographer.  This leaves the single hunter to face down the unseen attacker(s) on his own. 

The Direction 
     Those wanting complexity had best look elsewhere, as this is a singularly single-minded film about nothing more than what it depicts: three guys hunted by an unseen sniper.  In relating this fat-free tale Ti West utilizes extremely lengthy shots that often emphasize the scenery over the people in it, and sound design that favors quiet above all else.  The handheld camerawork enhances the naturalistic aura of the piece, at times giving it a documentary feel.  Far from the standard action movie treatment you might expect, the film is closer to the arty cinema of filmmakers like Andrei Tarkovsky and Alexander Sokurov. 
     The violence, however, is extremely strong and graphic, placing the proceedings firmly in horror/exploitation territory.  It all results in a movie thatís fascinating and intense--and probably best viewed on a big screen.  Like the work of the arthouse masters referenced above, TRIGGER MAN needs a movie theater venue to adequately weave its spell, which is lessened considerably on DVD. 

Vital Statistics 

Glass Eye Pix 

Director/Screenwriter/Cinematographer/Editor: Ti West
Producers: Ti West, Peter Phok
Cast: Reggie Cunningham, Ray Sullivan, Sean Reid, Heather Robb, James Felix McKenney, Larry Fessenden