I didn’t know much about this movie when I decided to watch it. Being named “The Traveler,” I didn’t even know that it was a horror movie. On top of that, Val Kilmer is the star of the movie. I can’t remember the last time he did a movie that turned out well. However, I gave it an honest try hoping it would surprise me.
It is a rainy Christmas Eve in a small town. Just when there seems to be nothing for the few local cops to do at the station, a strange traveler walks up to the front desk. Unexpectedly, he tells the officer at the desk that he wants to confess to murdering six people. The traveler is brought to the interrogation room, and questioned by Detective Black. He has no fingerprints, and is very vague with everyone until he finally begins his deadly confessions.
Well, what surprises me the most about the movie is how well it starts off before going downhill. The opening scene shows a little girl playing in the woods before getting kidnapped. The movie then flashes forward a year later to the police station, and the appearance of the traveler. After the traveler says that he murdered six people, it took me a few minutes to figure out that there happens to be six people at the station. From here, it becomes pretty obvious what is about to happen, but I was still curious how things would play out.
After first being reluctant to say anything, the traveler begins to confess his murders. Unfortunately for the cops, each confession results in one of the cops getting killed. As he describes the murder, the audience sees their mysterious death. It is mysterious because there is no one physically there killing them. This leads to the question of what kind of power does the traveler have, and who is he really? They don’t know how it could be possible, but they begin to think he could be the man they assaulted a year earlier because they thought he kidnapped the little girl.
As the deaths start occurring, the movie starts to go downhill. Instead of enjoying the death scenes, they become kind of ridiculous. In one scene, a cop is in a jail cell getting beaten to death. With every strike there is blood that flies through the air and splatters on the wall. It is all right the first or second time, but it happens over and over again. On top of that, it is in slow motion so it is easy to tell that it is really just someone throwing fake blood at a wall. There is a scene later on where a shovel is shoveling out one of the cops’ guts. Seems cool, but they do the same repetitive slow motion blood tossing. It is the same blood and guts getting tossed aside over and over again. There is only so much blood and guts you can shovel out of someone.
Then comes the scene where the ridiculousness hits its peak. One of the cops gets in a police car, and soon realizes they are locked in and about to be killed. Detective Black and another cop see what is happening, and try desperately to get the officer out. Black pulls out a shotgun, and starts to unload on the car’s windshield. Somehow the window never breaks, which might be considered ridiculous by some people, but it seems to fit with all the other mysterious things that were happening. Again, the problem here is the slow motion shotgun shells bouncing off the window time after time. They are trying to milk the dramatics out of the scene, and it just doesn’t work. Instead, I was growing impatient with how the scene just wouldn’t end.
Besides the wasted death scenes, I was still enjoying the story going on until the twist in the story is revealed. I don’t want to give it away, but again they really out thought themselves. The twist is different, but only because it doesn’t make any sense. It may come as a surprise to you because you were probably thinking the opposite thing was going to happen. I guess that made too much sense, and they felt a need to trick you. In turn, they just end up ruining a good story.
The story starts off so promising, but becomes unreasonable. The movie should have stuck to the horror, and left out the slow motion dramatics. They try so hard to come up with a twist that you won’t see coming that they ruin a good story. This movie might have been better if someone else did it. As for Val Kilmer, he did all right in the movie, but his performance is not going to resurrect his career. Because I did like some of the story, and there is a descent amount of blood, I give this movie 1.5 pools of blood.