Trunk: Locked In Review: An Interesting Setup That Falls Apart

Trunk: Locked In (2024).

In Trunk: Locked In, director Marc Schießer brings to the big screen an ambitious, character-driven, psychological thriller. Featuring the talents of Sina Martens as the bewildered captive, Malina, the film utilizes a strikingly minimalistic setting and claustrophobic plot to put a novel twist on the saturated thriller genre. However, in spite of the fresh premise and solid acting, Schießer’s storytelling leaves much to be desired, resulting in a promising yet ultimately lackluster addition to the world of cinema.

The Good:

Opening on an unnerving shot of the confused and frightened protagonist awakening in the pitch-black trunk of a car, Trunk: Locked In wastes no time in introducing the audience to its unique concept. This initial sequence builds an atmosphere of eerie dread and the promise of an electrifying journey, brilliantly encapsulating the film’s thrilling concept.

Leading the solitary cast, Sina Martens’ portrayal of the vulnerable yet resilient Malina is the most notewortrunkthy element of the film. Confined within the confines of a moving vehicle’s trunk, Martens presents a riveting performance that combines panic, resolve, and defiance in a constant flux. Despite limited physical space, Martens superbly commands the viewers’ attention, maintaining suspense through her expressions and emotions.

The Bad:

Regrettably, it is at this point that Trunk: Locked In begins to misfire. As the novelty of the confinement scenario wears thin, the film starts leaning heavily on clichéd dialogue and recycled tropes, the inherent tension begins to wane. Additionally, while Martens is excellent, the film becomes so reliant on her that the audience is provided with no external characterization, which narrows down the cinematic experience.

Even though the mainstay of the movie lies in Martens’ desperate attempts to figure out her situation and engineer her escape, the viewer is left feeling dissatisfied due to lack of depth and subtext. By banking solely on its premise, the movie reduces its protagonist’s terror-filled hours to mere momentary jumpscares and simplistic plot developments. Moreover, the narrative conveniently hinges on several implausible elements which dilute the authentic and gritty experience it promises.

However, it is in the handling of the amnesia subplot where the film particularly stumbles. Presented as a significant part of the film, Malina’s memory loss angle had the potential to inject compelling tension and complexity into the film. Instead, it is handled haphazardly, more as a hindrance than a well-developed element. While initially successful at cultivating a palpable sense of intrigue and anticipation, the resolution to this storyline ultimately feels forced and disappointing.

The saving grace for the movie lies in its cinematography and sound design, both of which work tirelessly to enhance the confined environment’s suspense. Unsettling angles and eerie silence serve to ratchet up the tension in crucial scenes. Yet even these fail to make up for the lack of consistent suspense, or meaningful twists and turns in the story.


Marc Schießer’s Trunk: Locked In had all the ingredients for a potent and memorable thriller, from its enticing premise to Sina Martens’ credible acting prowess. Unfortunately, a convoluted narrative, coupled with insufficient character depth and suspense, fails to harness these potentials effectively.

While Schießer has definitely put forward a unique idea, the implementation leaves us craving a better blend of storytelling finesse and inventiveness. While it is worth applauding his ambition and willingness to experiment within the genre, the result, unfortunately, falls short. It’s a thriller that’s worth a watch but one that’s hardly likely to have a lasting impact.

Trunk: Locked In makes for an average watch. It teases a brilliant idea but stumbles on execution. It leaves the viewer half satisfied but wishing for what could have been. For die-hard thriller fans, it might be worth checking out, but temper your expectations. For others, there are likely more engaging options available.

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Trunk: Locked In Review: An Interesting Setup That Falls Apart
  • Acting - 7/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 5.5/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 6/10
  • Setting/Theme - 7/10
  • Watchability - 5/10
  • Rewatchability - 3/10
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About Caillou Pettis

Caillou Pettis is a professional film critic and journalist as well as the author of While You Sleep, The Inspiring World of Horror: The Movies That Influenced Generations, and co-author of Out of Time: True Paranormal Encounters. He has been writing in the entertainment industry for over seven and a half years professionally. Throughout the years, he has written articles for publications including Gold Derby, Exclaim!, CBR, Awards Radar, Awards Watch, Flickering Myth, BRWC, Starburst Magazine, Punch Drunk Critics, Mediaversity Reviews, Vinyl Chapters, Northern Transmissions, and Beats Per Minute.