Screentology

Review: Flytrap (2016)

In ‘Flytrap’ an English astronomer comes to the USA to teach at UCLA, but on the of day he arrives he becomes part of a bizarre plan lead by a strange group of people.

Directed by: Stephen David Brooks.

Starring: Ina-Alice Kopp, Jeremy Crutchley, Jonah Blechman, Gabrielle Stone, Jonathan Eisley, Billy ‘Sly’ Williams, Jason Duplissea.

Country: United States.

Genre: Thriller, science fiction.

Running time: 80 minutes.

If there’s anything genre films have taught us throughout the years is that you should never consider your viewer a dumb person. You can play with them, and you can entrap them by using formulas that have proven to be effective. But you must deliver at some point, and within that delivery you have to acknowledge the reasonable attribute your viewer has.

I don’t get movies that are shot based on a final idea but that go through a messy and unnecessary plot. Jean-Luc Goddard once said that there wasn’t a point in having sharp images and fuzzy ideas, and in that phrase lies the reason why a movie like Flytrap feels like an attempt that had to be better planned.

The story is quite simple. An English expert on astronomy arrives in LA to teach. UCLA is his destiny. When he rejects an offer to go out that same night, he drives his rental over to a friend’s house. On the way the car inexplicably fails. Just in front of a house inside which there’s a woman staring at him. He knocks on the door and asks for the telephone. She’s strange looking, talks with a weird accent, and proposes in a very strange form that they should sleep together. Or “reproduce”. The man falls for her, and just hours after he wakes up tied to the bed. A weird voice talks to him through the wall. The woman returns and just when he starts planning his escape, he notices she could be some sort of a victim. Escaping with her, will not be easy. This is not your regular kidnapping.

Flytrap is not a regular movie in which the victim behaves like a victim. For some reason this very intelligent man cannot notice the fact that this beautiful woman is part of the “group” that has entrapped him. He woes her, almost falls in love with her. This pointless shift in the second act drives us conveniently to an ending that makes sense and fills the holes. The reason behind every single event in the movie is revealed in a fuzzy ending that’s satisfying but lacks strength when giving closure. It’s not as dramatic as it should have been, and it depends solely on one inexplicable movement by a laughable villain.

Nevertheless, I’m very sure that the story trying to be told in Flytrap is interesting. What are these people? What are they trying to do beyond what’s very clear in the movie? And why does everything seem like the perfect coincidence?. All these questions are part of a discussion you are allowed to have after an ending that doesn’t clarify much. This is were Flytrap is watchable, in the possibility of its story being interesting.

The problem lies in a forgettable approach that raises more questions about its main character than there should be. He’s annoying to say the least. The relationship he forms in just a few hours is not believable. Even if he’s dealing with a woman that doesn’t act like a “normal” person, he doesn’t behave like the hero the movie is trying to portray. Not even a survivor.

Rating:

A trailer

With information from Film Affinity, IMDB, YouTube.

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