The film follows nine best friends who come together to celebrate a five-year high school reunion. The entire group are out camping at night in a forest, allowing us to witness the nine interacting with each other. While the group is having a good time chatting, catching up and drinking, we soon learn these ex-students are all holding several dark secrets. The film allows us to know about things they went through in high school and focuses on some of the issues members in the group have when it comes to relationships and trust.
After a big night, the group of nine wake up only to find they each have a time-bomb strapped to them. We learn that the bombs have been strapped on by their old high school science teacher, who wants to play a game of revenge. Each vest has a timer that varies from one another. Naturally, the group is horrified and try to work out how to disarm the bombs but have no success. Because this group is currently in the woods camping, they are all alone with no one to help them. Soon, they make a significant discovery that they can steal one another’s time by simply murdering one another. This close group of friends suddenly transforms into murderous killers trying to stay alive and beat the final countdown. Nine friends, one winner.
For those seeking a new type of slasher/horror film, Triggered most certainly should be considered. While the film’s outline may sound familiar to other horrors such as Saw and The Hunt, Triggered thankfully introduces some new moments of creativity rather than just being another slasher film.
I enjoyed the fact that Triggered is set at night-time for most of the film’s runtime. Even with the night-time setting, I found everything easy to see on screen. When it comes to the jackets/bomb vests, the film’s creativity brought fun as a new horror film. The kills are brutal and bloody, and the film even introduces an excellent mystery which I’m disappointed to confess I couldn’t predict upon my first watch.
As for disappointments, the film has a hard time introducing all nine characters, and what introduction we do get feels quite vague and weak. Shallow conversations are had when we could have had deeper aspects introduced instead. With nine characters in a film, something else needed to happen for viewers to feel invested or care if one of them dies. The nine characters also doubt each other so much that I questioned how they ever got along in school.
Filming wise there was one element which I was not a fan of. At certain moments during line delivery from the characters, the camera had a habit of zooming in relatively fast which was somewhat distracting and felt forced. It was as if this unique style was supposed to impact or build additional tension.
Overall, Triggered, for the most part, is a fun teen horror film with lots of violent kills and delivers a gritty blood bath. While the film’s concept may seem familiar to titles such as Saw and The Hunt, I am glad to say some moments differ from other movies. The biggest letdown for Triggered was the lack of character development and the rushed introduction of all nine characters. Lines of dialogue can also feel rather cheesy at times, but hey, what slasher film does not include reasonable amounts of cheese.
Triggered (2020) is Now Available on DVD!