Written by Antonio Quintero
The Ranger is if someone took an Anti- punk TV episode and turn it into a slasher feature film. One of those TV special episodes that tries to expose the evils of punk; but they only end up making the punks look awesome and the norms look like the weirdos. I love this film; I am glad I go to see at SXSW.
In this film if you’re a punk and go into the forest; you will meet the killer ranger. Although, the punks are not completely good people in this film; at least their honest. The Ranger in the other hand looks normal; but it hides a darkness inside him. I see this film as a fight between mainstream and punk culture. I am rooting for the punks in this film.
This is a punk/slasher/cabin in the woods film; It’s about a group of punks that after a drug deal gone bad; they get a lot heat from the police and flee the city. One of their members a girl name Chloe (Chloe Levine) takes them to a cabin in the woods of New Jersey that belonged to her uncle. The only problem is that these woods are guarded by a psychotic park ranger. He doesn’t mind spilling the blood and guts of this punk to keep order in his forest. Now this punk must survive one of the most dangerous camping trip ever.
I love the look of the two opposing forces in this film; the punks and the ranger; order vs chaos is perfectly capture in this fun flick. The punks with their FU attitude, leather jackets, dyed hair and chains. They are portrayed as the ultimate spirit of freedom and chaos. In the other hand you have the titular ranger (Jeremy Holm) that looks like if a Park Ranger poster came to life. Everything about him looks perfect from his hair to his perfectly press uniform. He is the perfect symbol of order. He is the symbol of order trying to stump down on the chaotic punks. His normalcy exudes creepiness in this film. His perfection makes you uneasy. Holm’s plays this role perfectly as his character enjoys enforcing his law on these punks. His character seems to have come from a Larry Cohen story. The filmmaker succeeded in creating a twisted version of an authority figure. I love it; the Maniac Cop would be proud of the Ranger. This is a great subversive horror film.
The kills in this film would fit in a mid-80s slasher film. Head rolls in this film. They feel like the classic slasher kills I would see at midnight movies. I specially love films that know how to use a bear trap. The ranger makes this kill great with his personality. He just seems to light all the death around with his performance. The film also boasts a great punk soundtrack which compliments the atmosphere of the film.
Fans of horror genre are going to love this subversive horror film. It provides great frights and laugh. This gets my seal of approval of a film that must be listen loud.