Director – Chris Moore (Perversion, Blessed Are the Children)
Starring – Meredith Mohler (Queen Dracula, The Farmer), Jesse Dalton, and Sam Furman (Bayou Ghost Story, Don’t Kill It)
Release Date – 2018
Rating – 3.5/5
I like horror films that are unique. While most are wetting themselves over the next big “underground” horror movie which is usually torture porn I wait patiently for the next film that offers me something different. Hell, I even like movies that deliver something I’ve seen before but painted a different shade. Several years ago I crossed paths with Chris Moore. He sent over his first film. I checked it out but I have to be honest and say I wasn’t a fan.
A year or so passed and I came across his Youtube channel Confessions of a Horror Baby. Holy fuck. I loved the energy, the excitement, and how it related to the genre I love. Not long after he sent over word of his next film Blessed Are the Children. I absolutely loved it. When he announced his follow up film Triggered I knew exactly where this was going. I followed the project closely and when I asked me to check it out I was more than excited. I say excited because its offensive to say I had a boner. Thanks Chris for reaching out to me to see the film!
**Spoiler Alert**The film follows Callee who is pansexual and nonbinary. Callee has dedicated her life to stop racism, bigotry, gender norms, and sexual harassment. She is a social justice warrior through and through but her effort faces a roadblock when a serial killer has returned to her sleepy town after disappearing in 1989. When a fight with a popular girl goes south she accidentally kills her and uses the attacks by the serial killer as cover.
She stages a crime scene and paints herself a victim along with her best friend who happens to be gay. When the news breaks that they survived the attack they become local celebrities and her friend catches the eye of the football star and the two secretly become a couple but the real killer does not like being toyed with and sets their sights on the two. Callee wants to stage another attack to gain more fame but he wants out which sends Callee over the edge. She tries to kill him but the real killer reveals themselves.**Spoiler Alert**
This film could have went so many different ways but I can see Moore’s love for made for television murder mysteries and obscure 80s slashers took root. The film takes several horror clichés and tosses them into 2018. Triggered may not be that original but it does give us more than your standard torture porn or post Walking Deadzombie soap opera.
The acting in this is fucking fantastic. When it comes to indie horror this is the best acted film I have seen this year. Jesse Dalton nails his performance. His emotional range carries through the screen and the viewer becomes enthralled with his character. With that being said, the real star of the show is Meredoth Mohler who plays Callee. Her social justice cause and self-righteousness just gets under your skin. You truly want to slap her with a sock full of rocks which is intentional. She brings her character to life and is perfect. Also, the noise she makes when she gets stabbed will bring a grown man to his knees…
The story for this one combines many elements with horror from keyboard warriors and struggling 80s b-movie scream queens struggling with their age, to slashers like Slumber Party Massacre. In fact, this film reminded me a lot of Slumber Party Massacre. The story is written very well. I loved the characters’ backstory and the pacing in the film. Most of the dialogue is solid as well but a few scenes were a little weird to but this is expected with any indie production.
Finally, the film does have some blood. The kills are rather bland with minimal special effects. Honestly, the kills are irrelevant to the film. People continue to watch this film to find out who the killer is and what happens to Callee. That shows how well this film is put together. Overall, Triggered is the tongue in cheek horror film that delivers on the horror while poking fun at the people who think they are changing the world when all they are really doing is turning people off to their cause. The current political climate needed a movie like this and is essential viewing for any indie horror fan in 2018. This clever film will not disappoint so check it out.