Movie Review: ‘Triggered’

Review by James Lindorf

Many groups of friends have a linchpin, the person that brought almost everyone into the circle and served as the sun the group orbits. When that pin is no longer around, it becomes easy for everyone to start to drift apart with life’s distractions. In “Triggered,” a group of nine friends a few years removed from high school head into the woods to reconnect before taking in a big sporting event the next day. After a wild night of partying, they wake up with bombs strapped to their chests when someone from their past wants to play a sadistic game. Each bomb is on a timer, and each person was given a different amount of time. When they discover they can ‘take’ one another’s time by killing each other, their friendships and relationships are put to the ultimate test. Samuel Goldwyn Films will release “Triggered” On Demand and Digital on November 6th.

The title of the movie has a dual meaning. First, the bombs are triggered when the mad man begins the count down to everyone’s death. The second meaning can be found in the new pop cultural use for the word where being triggered means that you were in some way offended by something you’ve just seen or heard. When discussing the initial idea for the film, director Alastair Orr stated that “I thought it would be hilarious to see sensitive, woke, SJW millennials being thrown into a grizzly death match.” While the characters were the right age to be effectively triggered by an event, they lack the personality that comes with the SJW persona. There are no in-depth discussions of what is ailing the world and where is the justice in killing someone else to buy yourself just a few more minutes.

Even though they lean more into D-bag territory and not SJW screenwriter David D. Jones, characters are surprisingly complex. It is a 90-minute move with nine main characters who occasionally explode, so not everyone gets the full depth treatment. “Triggered” is a very low budget production. The only location is nondescript woods. There are no known actors, but there are some excellent performances, most notably by David D. Jones and Reine Swart. The injuries are mostly implied, and when they are seen, they amount to a little CGI and a lot of fake blood to cover up the perfectly healthy skin underneath.

How you feel about Triggered relies on two things. First, how much you enjoy the initial concept, which combines “Saw,” “Hunger Games,” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” I, for one, loved each of those movies, so I was instantly on board after reading a synopsis. The second key factor is how you feel about the characters. As time passed and the numbers dwindled, I found myself rooting for some of the characters. Surprisingly, “Triggered” ended up becoming a explosively good time. That explosion is more big-box store firework and less A-bomb, but it is still fun even if it doesn’t leave much of an impact.

Genre: Mystery And Thriller, Action, Horror
Original Language: English
Director: Alastair Orr
Producer: Chwayita Dlulane, Ariye Mahdeb
Writer: David D. Jones
Release Date (Theaters): Nov 6, 2020 Limited
Release Date (Streaming): Nov 6, 2020
Runtime: 1h 30m
Production Co: Polanomode Media, The First Order

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