A man (Ben Loggins) leaves his home one day, thinks about how his life has recently gone wrong, and then goes to an unfinished office building where he kills not only the people who he considers responsible but also anyone else who gets in his way. Trapped in the building with him and trying to survive through the night until the doors automatically unlock in the morning are the building’s manager, Mary Ann Marshall (Kathleen Quinlan), and a corporate spy who is only willing to say that May Ann should call him John Doe (Bruce Abbott).
Trapped was produced for and originally aired on the USA network and it went on to become a USA mainstay for most of the 90s. It’s a surprisingly violent and gory for a made-for-TV film from 1989 and the nearly-empty office building is an appropriately creepy setting. Director Fred Walton does a good job of creating and maintaining a sense of suspense and he’s helped by three excellent lead performances from Kathleen Quinlan, Bruce Abbott, and especially Ben Loggins. Loggins is credited as simply being “The Killer” and the film keeps his motives murky. If you pay attention, you can discover what has driven him over the edge but the film is smart enough to concentrate on the cat-and-mouse game that he plays with Quinlan and Abbott. One thing that sets Trapped‘s Killer apart from other psycho move stalkers is that Trapped‘s Killer is ambidextrous, carrying a dagger in one hand and a baseball bat in the other, making him even more intimidating than the typical movie psycho. Kathleen Quinlan, an underrated actress who is probably best-known for playing Tom Hanks’s wife in Apollo 13, is also a feisty and likable heroine.
Don’t let its origin as a made-for-TV film scare you off. Trapped is a good and suspenseful thriller.