PG (should be PG-13), 116 minutes, Thriller
Recently I went to the theater. The stage and intermission kind. It had been a while, but I still end up seeing live performances about once a year. It’s a nice experience that leaves an impression of being “cultured.” Honestly, it just tends to make for a great date night.
In walks Deathtrap: a one stage, two act, five player set. I’m given the unique perspective of watching it in the round. Each audience member gets a different view of the action as they surround the stage. Quite cool, in my opinion. I go home with mixed feelings about the performance, but I ask myself: If it was set in the late ’70s, does that mean it was written then? First search result: Deathtrap–the movie. The library has it. Screw it: I’m watchin’ it.
While the movie is not the original incarnation, it certainly is the most commercial. Without giving too much away I can tell you that the story involves two people who set out to murder a third… and that’s about all I can say. There would really be no point in describing more as it would 1) dissolve the thriller aspect of the story and 2) GIVE EVERYTHING AWAY. No point in discovering a movie if you already know how it ends, right? That being said, I’ll try to continue lightly…
It is an interesting premise having such a limited cast and play area. In an age of all-star ensembles where they appear to have to stretch casting budgets just to pack in another well-known name, having only five (well, focusing on five) people on one (well, mostly on one) set is a stark difference. That’s where the charm of this film comes into play. Not only is the story limited to one set, two acts, and five players, but characters are working with the idea of writing a script that involves one set, two acts, and five players based around the experience they are going through. This creates an entire story based on treacherous introspection.
The acting is fine and there’s little technical going on here. It’s really just a story-driven movie that perhaps climaxes too soon with one chaotic moment that is so charged the rest of the story turns into a lackluster game of cat and mouse until the second, although not as intense, climax that finishes off the story. It is interesting, though dated, but I don’t see this being for everyone, which would explain why I had never heard of the story in the first place.
Rating: Don’t bother.
Watch: The first climatic scene is fun.
Don’t watch: Guy-on-guy mouth-to-mouth.