by George Wolf
You get the sense early on that the German thriller Trunk may have some pleasant surprises in store.
Malina (Sina Martens, terrific in a physically demanding role) wakes up to find herself badly injured and confined to the trunk of a car. The trunk is ajar, and before the driver returns to shut her inside, Malina is able to retrieve her cell phone.
And lemme guess, the phone’s almost dead, right?
Okay, then, here we go! Dialing a series of well-chosen contacts, Malina has to 1) stay alive, and 2) piece together what’s happening while she looks for an escape route.
Writer/director Marc Schießer proves a solid triple threat here, also handling the editing duties with a deft hand and solid instincts for pacing and tension.
The cinematography is on point, as well. And while this particular trunk seems unusually roomy, Scheiber consistently lands precisely the type of claustrophobic camera angles and POV shots that Liam Nesson’s recent car-centric thriller Retribution tried in vain to achieve.
You may end up sniffing out some the mystery at play, but even so, Schießer’s finale will be no less satisfying. Trunk is a tense, crowd-pleasing thriller, one that adds enough detours to a well-traveled road until it’s fun again.
So climb in, and enjoy the ride.