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Home > Tourist Trap (1979): A Review

Tourist Trap (1979): A Review

Tourist Trap

Mannequins are Scary

Tourist Trap (1979) follows a group of five young friends who end up stranded at a strange, secluded roadside museum where they are stalked by a masked assailant who is obsessed with mannequins.

Even though it is older, I had not ever heard of this movie prior to stumbling upon it. I came across it through my recommendations on Tubi. I am beyond happy I gave it a watch on a complete whim! Notably, the main character’s name is Molly as well, which was a fun surprise. So if your name is Molly too or if you know a Molly, I recommend this. Jocelyn Jones gives a very solid performance as the stated character of Molly.

Tourist Trap is rated PG, not due to violence, but because it contains some truly disturbing moments and sequences. The movie is tense and though it leans more whimsical, it tries to feel both more grounded and plausible outside of the mannequins. There are parts of it that capture a similar feeling to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) largely because of the villain, aesthetic, events, and twists. Also, if one thinks about it, House of Wax (2005) could be considered a spiritual successor or sequel. 

This movie is weird, unique, and fun. The killer and the mannequins really stand out as threats. This movie boldly takes the idea and fear of the uncanny valley and explores it in an interesting way. If the mannequins were not present, this would be a completely different story. In addition, the mannequins make for a very different slasher premise. Rather than machetes, knives, or any other weapon, the threat is literal plain mannequins that one would see at the mall.  

Tourist Trap

The soundtrack really stood out. It is both great to listen to accompanying the action on screen and features more out there sounds and fitting motifs. 

Being the most aligned with slashers, the friend group is obviously there for only one reason. However, that does not take away anything. The kill scenes are very creative and suit the tone well. Also, the movie is 90 minutes so the pacing is tight. 

Interestingly, Tourist Trap, coming out in 1979 came out at a specifically historical time because it follows the 70’s horror like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, The Hills Have Eyes, Black Christmas, and more. But, it is also not quite like 80’s horror such as Friday The 13th, Sleepaway Camp, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Child’s Play, or anything similar

The special effects hold up very well. Everything is practically done and looks great. The mannequins are really cool, but unsettling. The group of friends, especially Molly, are interesting and likable.

More than just a slasher, it is also somewhat of a ‘whodunit’ / who’s causing problems behind the mask. The opening scene with what happens to the character Woody is an intense way to start off the story that sets up the world.  

Inversely, the ending shot was haunting and also plain weird. It certainly provides a thought provoking wrap up to the story. In addition to this, the ending may offer more insight upon rewatches. 

Tourist Trap is available for streaming on Tubi, IMDB TV, Shudder, and Amazon Prime Video.

Tourist Trap

Tourist Trap (1979) Official Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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