With a delicious simple premise (punks vs. a park ranger) The Ranger is a stylish slasher movie that might just be worth your time. The film opens with the crack of a gunshot in a dense forest, and has a first scene brimming with tension. From here it moves to a punk-rock opening, with director Jenn Wexler, making her debut, giving the film a propulsive energy. Wexler only allows audiences to catch their breath about twenty minutes in, when The Ranger reaches its woodland setting.
From here the film's plot kicks in proper. Chelsea (the film's final girl) and her gang of punk friends are on the run from the cops after a drug bust gets violent, ending up in the woods at
Chloe Levine is great in the lead role, subtly building the tics that clue in the audience in that there is something more to her.
The film's bloody and well-choreographed action will be the draw for many horror fans and there is a particularly standout scene in a convenience store. I especially liked some of the bolder uses of colour in this film, and the overall design is grand. Yet there are flaws too. The final third feels somewhat rushed, with the reveal feeling more confused then it needed to be. I wish we'd had more time for
This is a Fright Fest Film Festival preview and The Ranger will be released at a later date.