This M. Night Shyamalan movie just became my most anticipated summer thriller — here's why

Josh Hartnett in "Trap" coming to theaters in August 2024
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

One of my biggest passions is live music. Barely a week goes by without me either attending a concert or draining my bank account to pay an eyewatering sum for gig tickets. Another one of my biggest passions is film, so when I learned that M. Night Shyamalan’s new thriller is set against the backdrop of a sold-out concert arena, I was immediately ready to book my cinema seats. 

The movie is called “Trap”, and the official logline is extremely intriguing. The thriller will see a “father and teen daughter attending a pop concert, where they realize they’re at the center of a dark and sinister event.” That brief outline was enough to get me fully on board, but when the first trailer dropped last week, I was even more excited about this upcoming movie. 

in "Trap", Josh Hartnett plays the father, but the twist — it’s a Shyamalan movie, of course, there’s a twist — is that this seemingly everyday father is actually a notorious serial killer known as “The Butcher” and the police are using the concert as a trap to capture him. That’s one of the most compelling hooks I’ve ever heard for any movie.  

I’ve always thought that a concert setting was ripe for a thriller, and I’m also extremely pleased to see a movie set in a space that I’ve personally spent so much time in. I can’t wait to see how Shyamalan will use the unique location to wring out as much tension as possible, and I’m also curious to know if there’s a second twist (it’s a Shyamalan movie, there’s probably another twist). “Trap” could be the movie I’ve wanted for ages. 

This summer is already packed with movies that have caught my eye such as “Deadpool & Wolverine” and “Alien: Romulus”, and after getting our first look, “Trap” is easily among them. I cannot wait to see this thriller on the big screen when it releases on August 9, 2024. 

I’ve been burned before by Shyamalan 

I’m hyped for “Trap” but I’m keeping my expectation levels in check and plan to approach the movie with a degree of caution. To be blunt, I’ve been let down by Shyamalan plenty of times in the past, and I no longer fully trust the filmmaker. 

“Trap” isn’t the first time that I’ve heard the basic story outline of an upcoming Shyamalan movie and thought it sounded awesome. This also happened with 2021’s “Old”, which sees some tourists get stuck on a beach where time moves abnormally fast and then start to age years in just a matter of minutes. It’s a killer idea for a thriller, but the ultimate execution left a whole lot to be desired. I felt the same about 2023’s “Knock at the Cabin” as well. Interesting setup, weak execution. 

Furthermore, Shyamalan’s filmography is full of misfires from legendary bad movies like “The Happening” and “The Last Airbender” to more recent underwhelming efforts such as “Glass." I didn’t like “Split” very much either, but that movie has its fans so my more negative take seems to be more of an outliner. This is all to say that Shyamalan is not a director with a track record that fills me with confidence. 

However, I’m all about second chances (or in this case, it’s more like the director’s eighth or nine chance), and Shyamalan has proved in the past when everything syncs up perfectly, he can make super watchable thrillers. Let’s just hope “Trap” is one.

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Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.