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Film / The Ranger

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This isn't a place for kids to party.

The Ranger is a 2018 Slasher Movie directed and co-written by Jenn Wexler. It stars Chloe Levine and Jeremy Holm. When Chelsea (Levine) and the band of hard-partying, drug-dealing punk rockers she runs with escape from a police raid they begin looking for a place where they can lie low for a while. Chelsea suggests her late uncle's old cabin in a nearby state park and it initially seems like the ideal place. But to her horror, Chelsea recognizes the menacing park ranger (Holm) who begins stalking them as they enter the park. It turns out Chelsea and the mysterious ranger share a tragic secret, and his plans for her have only just begun...

This film contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Antagonist Title
  • Arc Words: Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.
    • "This isn't a place for kids to party."
  • Bury Your Gays: Abe and Jerk are gay lovers. Neither survive.
  • Cool Uncle: Chelsea's uncle Pete with whom she spent her summers as a child with at the cabin. Until she killed him during target practice.
  • Creepy Basement: The Ranger's is full of animal cages which are mostly used to contain various decomposing body parts.
  • Deranged Park Ranger: The title character is an unhinged and murderous park ranger who regularly kills people for allegedly breaking park regulations.
  • Final Girl: Chelsea seems designated to be one from the start given her unique history with the Ranger. And she does indeed come out as the sole survivor.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Jerk uses a can of spray paint to blind the Ranger. Later, Chelsea nearly beats the Ranger to death with his own binoculars.
  • Insane Troll Logic: The Ranger seems to use this to arrive at the conclusion that his victims have always violated park regulations in some way and therefore their killings are justified.
  • Jerkass: Everyone, but especially Garth, who's quick to stab a cop and land his friends in their predicament in the first place, and is generally verbally abusive to Chelsea. The only exception is Chelsea herself, despite her dark secret, and she seems to get a bit worse at the end.
  • Job Title
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: Abe is forced to make one at gunpoint.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Amber is often shown bearing her cleavage.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: The Ranger respects Chelsea because he sees her as a predator, at one with nature, just as he sees himself. He believes this due to her shooting her uncle to death while he trained her to use a rifle. Much of the drama of the final confrontation comes from him trying to get her to agree with him which she finally does.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Played with to make the Ranger seem capable of it, but also possible to explain away. First, after he finishes killing Amber and maiming Abe he instantly appears in the convenience store miles away. However, it's likely that more time passed between these events than what we are show. Later, after Chelsea beats him almost to death with his binoculars she turns her back on him for a few seconds only for him to pop up again standing by the window. Obviously, he had to have simply gotten up. But there should have been no way for him to do it without her seeing or hearing him do it.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: The film begins with a young Chelsea in the clutches of the sinister Ranger. This combined with flashbacks of her final afternoon with her uncle that occur throughout the film implicate the Ranger as being involved in her uncle's death. Finally we are shown the truth of the scenes: Chelsea killed her uncle and the Ranger protected her from facing consequences.
  • Rasputinian Death: Amber gets shot in the neck, drugged to point of overdosing, and finally is shot in the head point blank by the Ranger.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: The Ranger looks quite intimidating in a pair, as the movie poster shows, but he never wears them again once the battle against Chelsea and her friends begins. Justified in that these scenes all take place either at night or in the Ranger's own home where he wouldn't wear them anyway.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The Ranger, to Chelsea. Evidenced by the fact that he plays the song The Most Beautiful Girl in the World whenever he is with her or thinking about her and how he calls her his love during a particularly Mind Screw scene of him wearing nothing but a wolf skin.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Jerk momentarily blinds the Ranger with his can of spray paint, but chooses to gloat instead of pressing the attack. The Ranger - who is still holding the axe, mind you, simply swings the weapon up and tears through his throat and jaw.
  • Uncertain Doom: While Chelsea survives her encounter with The Ranger, killing him in the process, she runs into a wolf while covered in a large amount of his blood. Cut to end credits.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It isn't clear if the police officer Garth stabbed in the alleyway lived or died. Garth later remarks that he'll be the only one taking the rap for it, which indicates that Chelsea didn't shoot him when she had the chance but his fate is still uncertain. In the only wise decision they make during the film, the kids seem to operate on the assumption that he is dead.
  • With Friends Like These...: Chelsea's friends are essentially selfish, destructive jerks who couldn’t care less about her feelings. Once they're at the cabin they damage the property every chance they can get despite her constantly begging them not to. They don't even take it seriously when she reminds them that they need to be planning their next move given that they are on the run from the police. That said, they do their best to try and get help for Amber after they are shot.