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Evil Dead Trap

Evil Dead Trap, 1988

Nami (Miyuki Ono) is a reporter on a television show who solicits video submissions from her viewers. When she receives a graphic video seemingly showing the murder of a woman, she takes a news crew with her to investigate the location where the video was shot. Once there, she meets a mysterious man called Muraki (Yuji Honma) who is also searching for something at the abandoned facility. Before long, a killer begins violently dispatching the various news crew members.

This one has a pretty good reputation around here, and I have to say it did not disappoint!

The setting of the abandoned building is a great environment for the various encounters. Sprawling and derelict, it provides an unending series of rooms, tunnels, and tetanus-inducing exterior locations for the different sequences. It's so run down that the outside doesn't seem all that much safer than the inside.

The performances at the center of the film, Ono and Honma, are definitely solid. The two have a good chemistry with each other, which gets some extra charge as Nami's fear grows and Muraki's mysterious past becomes more and more relevant. The supporting cast are all fine. Their main job is to wander around and get killed, and they do so admirably.

The horror itself is varied and intense, but mostly in a good way. While there are definitely supernatural things happening, the deaths tend to happen in a wide array of methods. One character might be simply slashed, while another might be placed in an elaborate booby trap. Still another might be suddenly ambushed. The film manages to avoid repetition, even if the characters being killed are not so distinct because you never know what's coming next. The gore is definitely effective, and people who do not like eye trauma should be well warned!

I had very little to complain about with this one. There's a protracted sequence of sexual assault that, despite being upsetting, kind of slows down the momentum of the film. It's one of the only times that the film does seem to be spinning its wheels a bit. The grisly end of the sequence is at least memorable, but I'm not sure why the scene had to last so long. The ending is also somewhat abrupt, which I could see bothering some. I personally didn't mind it.

Definitely a solid October film.