“Squirrel Trap” is a well-made but somewhat dullish light comedy about five mismatched junior college students who encounter a series of predictable high-jinks during a weekend camping trip. The reason this unlikely quintet (a stoner, a nerd, a father of two, a feminist, and an alleged “princess”) are in the woods is because they have to write a 10-page paper on Thoreau and it was decided they could get a better sense for their subject if they grabbed their backpacks and hit the pebbly trails of the great outdoors. Perhaps this would’ve been more appropriate if they were writing about John Muir or even Grizzly Adams, but never mind.
Sadly, the film is completely predictable as the five evolve from highly individualist personalities (it is impossible to imagine this group sitting at the same cafeteria table together, let alone roughing it in the wilderness) into a cohesive and self-supportive unit of friends. But unlike the recent outdoors comedy debacle “Without a Paddle,” the film never bogs down in imbecility and bad acting. Indeed, the film’s main saving grace is its very attractive and very talented cast: Annie Tedesco and Jamie Alexander (as the feminist and “princess”) are incredibly sexy and wonderful comic perfomers, while Tom Fugedi’s gregarious stoner, Keith Cliff’s creepy nerd and Michael Burke’s sweetly-defined father are a lot of fun to behold.
Ian Nelms, who created and directed the film with his brother Eshom Nelms, turns up playing a character billed as “The A*****e” â€“ though he genuinely seems too good-natured to be worthy of such unfortunate casting.
The Nelms Brothers know how to create a good-looking feature film (the nature photography is marvelous). With a sharper screenplay, they are destined to be a killer cinematic pair.