Jonas Kvist Jensen’s “The Girl in the Trunk” isn’t one that is lacking in trying. However, a surfeit of effort is always palpable and not quite a pleasant sight. To crank up a thriller with heavy-handed gestures is especially a jarring experience. A strong thriller should exert a tight, smooth grip, letting you adrift in a maze of associations and clues and red herrings. An element of breathless suspense is certainly welcome, but not at the complete expense of persuasive, coherent characterization.

The latter is where the film stumbles, big time. It is as if the director is constantly beleaguered by the need to amp up tension and inject paciness into the proceedings. In doing so, everything else checks out of the film. Problems are many and varied in the narrative, ranging from clumsy screenwriting glitches to some of the manufactured acting to a bundle of contrivances.

Honestly, they may not have been a distracting issue had it not been for the peculiarly mindless writing that forsakes any rational linkages and simply jolts in a heightened degree of implausibly rendered claustrophobia. As the scenes escalate in bizarreness, menace is supposed to foray into the narrative in excessive doses. Panic and anxiety need to have been sharply accentuated.

Yes, these emotions are in extreme quantity, or at least that’s how the film strains to affect them to take center stage in the narrative. But these are so distended from a tight throughline that one struggles to latch onto what’s happening, especially when jabs at ambiguity have been supplanted by vagueness and emptiness, preventing any considerable emotional equation with the character in a situation of distress.

The Girl in the Trunk (2024) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

Let’s start with the central conceit. The protagonist, the titular girl in the trunk, Amanda (Katharina Sporrer), finds herself suddenly dumped and trapped in the trunk of a car. She has no idea how she came to be in it. Slowly, details emerge as the narrative starts parceling out key information. She is in a wedding dress, which is one of the things that has piqued the kidnapper, who fixed her as his next prey. It stoked his curiosity and he wanted to know more about her situation.

It is while being at a car rental that the kidnapper forces her into captivity in his car’s trunk. Amanda hails from a pretty rich family. Her father, Stephen, raised her and attended to every one of her needs. But he is also a controlling figure, wielding a firm hand in her life and compelling her to make the decisions he wishes. Therefore, despite the colossal privileges, Amanda is filled with a loathing for her life and father, who tries to stage-manage and orchestrate and determine every other aspect of what she should do and think of. He is so overbearing he even fixes Amanda’s wedding to John (Adam Kitchen). Amanda had no interest or inclination to get married to John. She planned to rent a car and flee somewhere else right on the wedding day. However, she turns into the next target of her kidnapper instead.

The Girl in the Trunk (2024) Movie Ending Explained
A still from “The Girl in the Trunk” (2024)

Amanda tries her best to break the trunk open. She is on the verge of splitting it wide open, but the kidnapper quickly intervenes and tapes it up. However, it catches the attention of a man who the kidnapper asks for some rope. When the man realizes it’s not an animal that the kidnapper alleges but there’s a human inside and sees Amanda, he is attacked and run over immediately by the kidnapper.

Slowly, we come to discover more information about who the kidnapper is. He had a job at the car rental but recently lost it. He has no people or love in his life. There are no emotional pockets of solace and happiness that can sustain and nurture him. Through taking people hostage, without necessitating so much as a ransom amount, he revels in his prey’s agony. There’s a deep, intense streak of sadism that fuels him. He drops a scorpion and a rattlesnake to feed on Amanda’s anguish and fear. It delights him.

Amanda’s father agrees to the random amount, and a pickup place is fixed. However, the father is more absorbed in needling his daughter about who could possibly dare to mess with him without even asking her how she has been holding up. It gives us an instant glimpse of how the father is so caught up in his own ego and makes everything about himself. There’s another encounter with a police officer, who finds Amanda trapped in the trunk, but she, too, is shot down by the kidnapper. Amanda calls up her fiancé, John, to apologize to him. It is then her father arrives in a helicopter, by way of a triumphant spectacle of a savior swooping in.

The Girl in the Trunk (2024) Movie Ending Explained:

Does Amanda manage to escape?

Amanda is shocked her father is so reckless, careless, and haughty in the situation instead of calmly and passively acceding to the kidnapper. Stephen barges inside the car, carrying himself with an air of inflated self-importance. He assures her he’s got everything in control and suddenly shoots at the kidnapper, blowing off half his face. However, it doesn’t kill him as the father has envisaged. He drives away with Amanda still caged in the trunk. The car rams into a field.

Amanda finally breaks the trunk open. Now, she coerces the kidnapper to get inside the trunk as she flashes a gun in her hand. After he gets in, she tapes up the trunk. Leaving him there, she walks down the highway when she is accosted by a police car that has her father and the officer, who had been wearing a bulletproof vest and is perfectly alright. The three drive away. Amanda is relieved and exhilarated, especially after putting the kidnapper in the situation that he had inflicted on her.

Read More: Trunk: Locked In (2023) Movie Ending Explained: Who is Behind Malina’s Kidnapping?

Trailer:

The Girl in the Trunk (2024) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Letterboxd
Cast of The Girl in the Trunk (2024) Movie: Katharina Sporrer, Caspar Phillipson, Hother Bøndorff, Christopher de Courcy-Ireland, Lianna Taylor, Lars Hammer Andersen, Danny Thykær, Adam Kitchen
The Girl in the Trunk (2024) Movie Genre: Mystery & Thriller | Runtime: 1h 30m
Where to watch The Girl in the Trunk

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