It was supposed to be no more than a silly party game when Duffy (August Roads) introduces his friends to his and his best friend Nick's (Nick Fink) sound studio where they (allegedly) try to record EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena - as in voices from another world/the beyond), and had one of their friends, Jarek (Jerod Meagher), invoke a demon. Nothing happens at that session, actually ... only Jarek doesn't survive the night. And Nick finds a kill list, recorded backwards, on their studio's computer, that tells him exactly in what order he and his friends will die. He talks about this to Duffy, but Duffy's less than eager to believe him, apparently because he is really intreagued by the paranormal as an abstract theory, but not as a reality. He even is not convinced when Jen (Sam Valentine), the next one on the list dies, claiming it was just what it looked like, apparent suicide, and tries to rationalize things while Nick falls deeper and deeper into his beliefs and gives in to alcoholism to at least remain borderline sane. Thing is, Nick is right, there's really a demon killing his friends, but when the next two (Maddie McGuire, Jesse Pepe) are killed, and exactly in the list's order, Duffy makes a horrific confession - not fully grasping to what extent their lives and that of Nick's girlfriend Rebecca (Samantha Lee) are at stake ...
Trace is a very effective little horror flick that really understands how to play with audience expectations and succeeds to surprise the viewer even if the plotline is laid out in front of them. Much of this is thanks to the characters being not just of the cookie-cutter variety, and the comparative vagueness of the threat that only becomes more tangible the longer the film goes. But the thing's really held together by a subtle direction with a good feel when to keep things in the dark, a strong ensemble cast - and of course the looming threat that never lets go once it has gripped the viewer ... and thus it's definitely worth a look!