The Traveler

Put that gun down before I shove it down your throat!

Director : Michael Oblowitzthetravelerdvd

Year Released : 2010

Starting : Val Kilmer, Dylan Neal, Camille Sullivan, Paul McGillion, John Cassini, Chris Gauthier and Nels Lennarson

Those that have read the site for a while will know that my favourite film is ‘Willow’ and one of the reasons was the charismatic performance from Val Kilmer as the unwilling hero Madmartigan. I have always found him entertaining, even in movies that weren’t good.

So whilst browsing Netflix I came across this film of his that I hadn’t heard of before and so I got a bit excited. Granted, Kilmer hasn’t, with all due respect, been a major player in Hollywood for quite some time, but that doesn’t stop me looking forward to his releases and even more so given that his last cinema release in the UK came in 2009’s ‘Bad Lieutenant’.

However, those of you who are long term fans of the site might notice that ever since doing reviews of thirty-one horror films in as many days since the build up to Halloween in 2015, I haven’t really reviewed many horror films. This is mainly due to them seeming like a predictable mess. I sincerely hope that this isn’t the same.

Plot

A man (Kilmer) walks in to a police station and calmly states that he is confessing to murder. He remains silent for some time after before he starts playing mind games with various cops. Several start experiencing strange visions and it turns out the man, referring to himself as Nobody, has no fingerprints. Mugshots taken also show nothing more than clothes, and he jumps around from cell to cell with ease.

One of the cops notices that the man looks exactly like a drifter that the same six officers had beaten up a year prior whilst investigating the disappearance of Black’s (Neal) daughter. Minutes later Nobody is describing how he killed his first victim, and as he describes it Jack (Cassini) suffers that fate in the cell block.

As time goes on they realise that every time Nobody makes a confession, one of them dies, and he’s quickly making his way through them.

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A decent showing?

I’m going to start with the only real positive that I can think of for the film that the opening half hour or so. I really liked the build up early on to establish the eerie nature of the movie. It keeps you guessing as to what is happening and how the film will play out. That’s pretty much where my positive review ends.

This is not a good film, not in the slightest. The deaths are the main reason a lot of people get into horror films in the first place, but the body count here feels so lazily done and realised that it is hard not to notice the flaws in the various aspects of them. Once such death comes when one of the characters is trapped in a car and the remaining survivors are struggling to break through the windscreen. Whilst noble in their intentions, the characters are fucking idiots. They must have pumped at least fifteen bullets from different guns into that windscreen, and hitting it with their batons, all without making a slight dent. Surely they’d realise after two/three shots that the glass should have broken and then try in another area?

 

The ridiculous nature of the deaths is pretty much the same all of the way through, with the jump-cut nature of one or two of them, not to mention the obscured view for others, makes it hard to really get a true sense of what is going on. For example, one character is killed on a rooftop, but because it is heavily raining you can’t really tell what is going on.

thetraveler2

For lack of a better words, the long this film goes on the more boring it becomes. I really don’t like describing a film as boring, but unfortunately there are no other words that would be considered appropriate. After thirty minutes I was contemplating going against the 4.1/10 average on IMDB and giving this the approved stamp, but then it lost everything that made it even remotely interesting. This isn’t helped by all of the wooden acting on show from everyone. No-one seems to be enjoying the film making process, and their performances just don’t inspire anything that could be considered noteworthy.

I still enjoy Kilmer’s work, but even he seems exceptionally bored by the movie judging by his passive portrayal during the film’s ninety-one minute run time.

As the film goes on it gets less engaging as you don’t feel sorry for what is happening to the characters. They deserve what they are getting, and even the twist towards the end doesn’t really change that. It’s hard to really get behind these characters to survive and in the way that “Don’t Breathe” presents its central characters. They are pieces of shit so it is hard to feel sorry for them in the slightest.

I’m going to end this review by talking about the ending and how stupid that is. I shouldn’t really have to say this after just saying that, but SPOILER ALERT. Basically the only character left is Black, the father of the girl that they all believed was killed by the man they beat up the previous year. He decides to make himself deaf so that he can’t hear the confessions anymore, but this doesn’t work as he can still hear Nobody. He all of a sudden sees his daughter and it turns out that to defeat Nobody, all he has to do is say his name out loud. He does and then shoguns him through a window. What a poor way to end a film that was rapidly going downhill anyway.

Summary

What starts off as a reasonable horror film slowly turns into a snorefest that I struggled to find a single positive out of.

I can barely even muster the energy to come up with a summary, that’s how boring and forgettable this film is.

If you must insist on watch it, stop after the half hour mark, because fuck all interesting happens after that.

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