Spirit Trap (2005)

Spirit Trap
Director: David Smith
Writer: Phil O’Shea, Rohan Candappa, Paul Finch
Cast: Billie Piper, Luke Mably, Sam Troughton, Emma Catherwood, Alsou, Chiké Okonkwo
Seen on: 23.12.2020

Content Note: racism, lynching

Jenny (Billie Piper) is excited to start university. Through student housing she was allocated a flat share in what turns out to be quite a mansion. Sharing with her are fellow first semester students Tom (Luke Mably), Tina (Alsou) and the couple Nick (Sam Troughton) and Adele (Emma Catherwood). The mansion is rather unusual and it also houses a spirit clock. When Tom gets it to work again, strange things start happening in the house and to the students.

Well. Spirit Trap is certainly a film. It has Billie Piper in it and it exists. And other than that, I really don’t have much to say about it, but I will anyway because that’s what I’m doing on here.

The film poster showing a skull superimposed over clockwork and the five main characters.

I have seen worse films than Spirit Trap, but I have a hard time remembering a film that was blander than this one. It feels like a film that is mostly going through the motions, and all the motions it’s got come from other nor particularly good horror movies. I wish I could say that at least Billie Piper stands out of the blandness – it is mostly for her that I watched the film in the first place – but no such luck. Even she is swallowed by the mediocrity of the film.

There is something to be said for the social justice message at the core of the film, but mostly that there was an attempt made. There is a backstory that involves the lynching of Black man for daring to be with a white woman. But the way it is done it gets lost in the drama of all the other stuff going on, plus it makes it seem like racism is a thing of the past while the film itself didn’t even manage to find another Black person for the whole entire cast.

Tom (Luke Mably) and Jenny (Billie Piper) looking at something.

I also had some problems with the whole “who is a murderer” angle that the film tries to half-heartedly make a philosophical argument about, but it was a bit of a mess and I was just not interested enough in any of it to think more about it and to try to figure the mess out.

Well, willl you look at that – I was able to say something about the film after all. Mostly what it boils down to is: use your time for another film instead.

Tom (Luke Mably), Adele (Emma Catherwood) and Nick (Sam Troughton) using a planchette.

Summarizing: meh.

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