Will the mask slip?
Five minutes in, Tourist Trap turns into one of the most attractive and creepiest cinematic experiences there is. This is the beginning of Masters of Horror Charles Band and David Schmoeller’s reigns of terror; in this case, instigated by possessed mannequins and, later in their careers, by building an industry around evil puppets and animating the inanimate.
The mannequins are hardly rigged, which probably adds to their eeriness. Their movement is erratic. Their conception is approximate. The cast and sets are limited, and it makes the film that much more claustrophobic. The actors know they’re in a slasher and they give a proper performance. Watch out for one of the most predictable whodunits in the history of whodunits.
The first act is arguably the best and contains many supernatural elements, the second one behaves like a classic slasher, and the third one is a mixed bag. In a way, you basically get two movies in one, then an anticlimactic climax. The film has its ups and downs, indeed. It’s perfect for those sensitive to peculiar ambiances, though. Tourist Trap’s atmosphere is unprecedented.