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Belittling Horror Excessively: The Traveler01:08 PM -- Sun October 18, 2015

The Traveler

My Review: This is a straight-up 80’s movie that came out 30 years too late. Val Kilmer walks into a police station on Christmas Eve with just a few cops in it, and says he wants to confess to murder. They lock him up and interrogate him. As he confesses to murder, it turns out he’s actually describing what’s happening exactly at that moment, in another part of the building, as one of the cops is mysteriously killed by ghostly forces. There’s mayhem and freakouts, and 5 more confessions as one by one, he confesses the cops to death.

I don’t think it’s really a spoiler to tell you what the movie reveals in the first 20 minutes, so it turns out that he is the ghost of a man that these six cops beat up to try to force a confession from, leaving him in a coma and eventually to die. So it’s like revenge. There’s a twist, of course, which is kind of silly and breaks the logic a little, but is not too crazy.

I was really interested at first in this movie. The premise is intriguing, and you are getting an interesting mystery at first as this very strange, very silent guy shows up, but the big problem is, they reveal everything about him in that first 20 minutes. After that, there’s no more mystery, just waiting for him to kill everybody. There’s nothing they can do about it, since what he does is plainly magic. Things just happen. And it’s sad, because this could have been a truly great movie. If Bryan Singer had directed it, and somebody good had written it, it would’ve been some kind of supernatural Usual Suspects. Keep those revelations in check, let the audience figure things out bit by bit. Get a real twist! Make the characters have some depth!

But instead, it’s a very strange movie, that feels completely out of the 80’s. The run-down police station, the non-cell-phone, the random usage of heavy metal which seemed totally out of place every time, the crazy gore with chunks of guts flying around - every bit of it just looked and sounded pure 80’s. There was another weird and annoying thing about it - dozens of times they show something in slow motion about 4 or 5 times in a row. Not something especially exciting, like the cop is trying to shoot out a windshield, and it just repeatedly shows him pull the trigger and the muzzle flash. It was like they were trying to impart this huge importance, but for no reason at all. And it happens many times. It’s a terrible effect.

My Rating: 2/5 Best Daddy In The World Pens.

My Movie Idea: I pretty much said it above - let’s do this basic idea and do it well. A guy walks into a police station and wants to confess to murder. Now let’s put the rest of it into the realm of mystery - make it possible that he has accomplices, make his confessions vague and not blatantly describing exactly what is happening, reveal tidbits of the backstory for why he is there instead of dumping the entire thing at once in one big flashback (which by the way is repeated 3 or 4 times, almost in its entirety. I got so sick of it). Make it so only one of the cops is actually responsible for this and deserves to die, and so if he would’ve just come clean early on, the other people would’ve survived, just to turn the guilt knobs up a little. Have some misdirects, like the first death looks like a suicide and there seems like a plausible reason for it. Leave the cops guessing before it turns into an all-out fleeing for your life. Just tone everything down so there’s lots of room for mystery, and some quiet somber moments instead of crazy bloody mayhem. Let’s get spooky, people!

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