Having been disappointed by western produced horror lately, I decided to venture further afield and look for some horror that didn't originate from the US or UK. What got my attention was Trackman, a Russian horror offering from Igor Shavlak.
After reading the synopsis, viewing the top-class trailer and teased with the idea of a horror movie from one of Hollywood's go-to bad guys: the Russians, I thought this would be a worthwhile purchase since it reminded me of Christopher Smith's London Underground horror flick Creep. Trackman brings together many elements easily recognisable as signatures of the genre: ragtag bunch of survivors being stalked by a near preternatural killer who is picking them off one at a time (and who looked to be a pretty decent villain from the poster and trailer), despatching them mainly with his nasty looking pickaxe and making trophies of their eyes. The chosen stage for this particular piece to play out on are the abandoned subway tunnels of Moscow and subsequently create a naturally claustrophobic and foreboding atmosphere for the lead characters to navigate. There is an obligatory backstory that is narrated by one of the characters to the others as they descend into the tunnels, neatly setting the scene.
Despite such promise from a much used and loved sub-genre, the slasher flick, the promising elements of Trackman never seem to come together well and I found myself fairly unimpressed with it all after it displayed a bit of promise. The location for the film had potential but felt too much like a studio production, as opposed to the grimy, dirty, real feel of Creep. The characters themselves are fairly two-dimensional and largely unsympathetic and so, the viewer is left with little concern over their fate. Those who are expecting imaginative or even gory kills will be left unsatisfied. Please don't get me wrong, there IS gore but it comes from dead or dying bodies mainly and the death scenes are limited; leaving me wondering if this film really deserved its 18 certificate from the BBFC. Even Trackman himself was ultimately disappointing, putting me in mind of the killer from My Bloody Valentine.
For me, Trackman simply failed to hit the mark. Judging it solely as a slasher film, it's competent enough and a very attractive movie showing the high production value of it; but it's no different really from any film of the sub-genre out there and the ending is a bit of a damp squib.
Hardcore fans of the sub-genre may enjoy this but Trackman follows a well-worn genre path with little in the way of real surprise. Looking for subway horror? Get yourself Creep instead.