DWF: LA review: ‘GLUE TRAP’ is a slow burn into total darkness.

GLUE TRAP title card

A slow burn first act establishes a struggling relationship between Dan and KJ. A weekend getaway begins in solitude and boredom, with their only point of conversation being what to do with a mouse trapped in a glue trap but has yet to die. When a stranger arrives, things get tense.

The cabin owner’s sister Eliza shows up for a stay, claiming a miscommunication. She ruffles feathers with her overzealous attitude, intrusive helpfulness, and “low-key” racism. Dan welcomes her, but KJ feels put out. Eliza’s inability to recognize social cues is cringeworthy. She is a wedge between them.

Eliza’s oblivious nonchalance immediately makes the hairs stand up on your neck. Gloria Bangiola‘s performance is everything. Glue Trap’s off-kilter feel comes directly from her performance. This 90s neighbor high on pixie sticks vibe she brings is the only way I can accurately sum up the skin-crawling feeling of sugarcoated cringe. To be clear, that is a compliment. To fully understand, you have to see it. Bravo.

Brittany Bradford and Isaac Jay in Glue TrapIsaac Jay is Dan. He delivers the right amount of good-guy energy topped with the typical carefree male partner. His tonal shift between Eliza and KJ will rub you raw. His patience is vital to Glue Trap’s success.

Brittany Bradford  (Julia) is KJ. Her pensive nature grounds the film in any sense of reality. She seeks clarity in the surrounding nature and her writing to suss out her true feelings for Dan. The camera loves her. Bradford anchors the audience in familiar and often regrettable emotions. It is a noteworthy turn.

Halfway through the film, the plot takes a meta-turn. If you weren’t uncomfortable before, now things get genuinely sticky. Another sharp turn from filmmaker Justin Geldzahler and DWF audiences will twist in their seats as they witness a finale they never saw coming.

 WORLD Premiere | USA, 2023, 89 min.
THU JUNE 29 @ 9:30PM

To find out more about DWF: LA, click here!!


About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.

Leave a Reply