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Traffik (film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byDeon Taylor
Written byDeon Taylor
Produced by
CinematographyDante Spinotti
Edited byMelissa Kent
Music byGeoff Zanelli
Distributed byLionsgate[1]
Release date
  • April 20, 2018 (2018-04-20) (United States)
Running time
96 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$4 million[2]
Box office$9.5 million[1]

Traffik is a 2018 American horror-thriller film directed and written by Deon Taylor and starring Paula Patton, Omar Epps, Laz Alonso, Roselyn Sanchez, Luke Goss, William Fichtner, and Missi Pyle. It follows a group of friends who are terrorized by a gang of bikers in a remote countryside home. It was released on April 20, 2018, by Summit Entertainment, received generally unfavorable reviews from critics and grossed $9 million worldwide.


Sacramento Post journalist Brea is upset to find that a rival journalist is covering a major story that she had been trying to get published for months. Brea confronts her boss, Carl, who says her story is just a fluff piece and threatens to fire her.

Brea goes out for a birthday dinner with her boyfriend John and their friends Darren and Malia. John plans to take Brea on a romantic getaway in the California mountains. Brea thinks John might propose while they are away.

Heading off on their vacation, John and Brea stop at a gas station where she meets Cara, a scared-looking woman. Cara mentions the Fourth of July before an angry biker interrupts and orders her to hurry so they can leave. Outside, another biker is bugging John, who responds by punching him in the face. The biker then pulls out a knife. Sheriff Marnes intervenes and tells the bikers to stay away.

Later on the road, one of the bikers starts following John and Brea, demanding they pull over. John speeds up then stops to cause the biker to swerve off the road and roll down a hill. Back at the gas station, the bikers' leader, Red, chastises his group for drawing attention to themselves and failing to capture Brea.

The couple arrive at their vacation house and spend the afternoon together. Their evening is disrupted when Darren and Malia make an unannounced visit. The couples hang out until they hear a ringing sound coming from Brea's bag. She finds a satellite phone and realizes that Cara slipped it into her bag. Thinking about her Fourth of July comment, Brea figures out that it is a pass-code and they unlock the phone. They find pictures of battered women posing for ads, making the couples realize that she is part of a trafficking ring.

Brea decides to call the police, but Darren stops her, suggesting she only wants to get involved to write about it and get her job back. They argue, and Darren reveals that John and Malia hooked up long before they knew either Brea or Darren. Upset, Malia breaks up with Darren and leaves. Then, there is a knock at the door, and it is Cara. She wants the phone but Brea instead offers to help her. Cara becomes angry and runs away. John, Brea and Darren attempt to follow her, only to see Red and his bikers outside. When Cara tells Red she did not recover the phone, he shoots her dead. The three run back into the house and Darren demands that they surrender the phone. He goes outside and sees Malia's bag, realising the bikers have her. He tries to make a deal with Red to exchange the phone for Malia but Red declines. Darren tries to pull his own gun on them, but the bikers stab him before Red shoots him dead.

John and Brea escape the house and run into the woods while the bikers pursue them. One biker attacks John, but Brea hits him with a branch before John gets hold of his attacker's knife and stabs him. The couple then run to a cabin where an old man lives. He lets them inside to use the phone to call 911. A biker arrives and kills the old man. The biker fights John and shoots him in the side before Brea stabs him in the back. John takes the biker's gun and shoots him dead, but his own wound is fatal. Before dying, he tells Brea to get the old man's car keys. Brea finds the ring that John was planning to propose with, and wears it for him.

Brea goes outside to try to start the car, but Red and the last biker find her. Marnes also arrives with a deputy following John's phone call. Marnes, who is actually part of the trafficking scheme, kills the deputy. She then berates Red and the biker for manhandling the girls since they are products, as well as not deleting the evidence on the phone. They then sedate Brea.

Brea wakes up in a hidden location with other trafficked women, including Malia. There, Red says he is keeping Brea all to himself. He begins to sexually assault her before she sticks a nail in his neck and bludgeons him to death. The biker attacks Brea but Malia overdoses him with his sedative. Brea promises to come back for Malia and goes to get help. Leaving the woods, she finds herself near the gas station. Inside, she asks the clerk to call the police, and Marnes answers the phone. Brea also swipes a cell phone and calls Carl for help.

Marnes later arrives. Brea asks if Marnes takes any pride in trafficking women for profit. Marnes responds that everything is trafficked and she is just part of the system. Marnes cuffs Brea, only for a squad of cops to show up. Marnes is arrested, and the cops rescue the trafficked women.

Months later, Brea returns to work where Carl says that the bust will be big news everywhere and that the people involved will most likely go after Brea. She, however, is not afraid.



Lionsgate acquired the rights to the film for $5 million in September 2017.[3] Traffik was theatrically released on April 20, 2018, by Lionsgate's Summit Entertainment. It was originally slated for April 27, 2018, but was moved up a week to avoid competition from Avengers: Infinity War.[4]


Box office[edit]

In the United States and Canada, Traffik was released alongside I Feel Pretty and Super Troopers 2, and was projected to gross $3–4 million from 1,046 theaters in its opening weekend.[3] The film made $225,000 from Thursday night previews and $1.4 million on its first day, including previews. It went on to debut to $3.9 million, finishing 9th at the box office.[5] In its second weekend the film dropped 58% to $1.7 million, finishing 10th.[6]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 27% based on 33 reviews, and an average rating of 3.9/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Traffik highlights Paula Patton's impressive dramatic chops — and smothers them in a thoroughly underwhelming exploitation thriller."[7] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 37 out of 100, based on 10 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews."[8]


  1. ^ a b "Traffik (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  2. ^ Joyner, Jazmine (April 18, 2018). "Why Traffik is Far More Than A Simple Thriller". Ms En Scene. Bleating Heart Press. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  3. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 18, 2018). "Rampage' & 'A Quiet Place' Still At War For No. 1; Amy Schumer Debuts Third Comedy 'I Feel Pretty'". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 18, 2018.
  4. ^ Busch, Jenna (March 7, 2018). "Traffik and Overboard Get New Release Dates". ComingSoon.net. CraveOnline Media. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  5. ^ Busch, Anita; D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 22, 2018). "'A Quiet Place' Still Noisy With $21.7M As 'Rampage' Beats Chest, 'Super Trooper 2' Surprises – Sunday AM Update". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved April 22, 2018.
  6. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (April 29, 2018). "'Avengers: Infinity War' Conquering 'Force Awakens' With Record $248M-$250M Opening; Posts Record $82M Saturday". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  7. ^ "Traffik (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  8. ^ "Traffik Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 31, 2018.

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