Honestly, I wasn't expecting a very good flick from "the twisted mind of David Arquette". But I'm a horror nut and I couldn't pass up a psycho in a Ronald Reagan mask killing off a bunch of hippies. Great concept! The cast was a plus as well, Lukas Haas is a personal favorite and you can't have a movie about pot without Jason "Jay" Mewes.
The film starts with a bunch of hippies protecting a tree from getting cut down by some loggers. When things escalate too far, the foreman is arrested; his son who happens to be with him that day sees it all go down, he proceeds to grab the nearest chainsaw and starts chopping down a hippie. Geeze, I wonder who the killer's going to be?
Cut to the horror staple of a group of friends in a van on their way to a concert in the woods. With the fortunate casting of Haas, Mewes, Jaime King and some other decent young actors who riff off each other well; they make the build-up to the kills entertaining. Plus they got Paul Reubens as the concert promoter and Thomas Jane as the tough-guy sheriff, both hamming it up to their full potential.
What really surprised me is Arquette's talent behind the camera. He must have learned something all those years on set, because he has a very good idea of how to piece a horror film together. There are some very good kills, most notable were the chainsaw to the groin and the ax P.O.V. when Ronny's going nuts on a big group of hippies. The camera-work and editing are very well done, they really play up the whole drug theme and came up with some fun, trippy images.
Based on The Tripper I'm suddenly stoked to see what Arquette does next as a director, he shows he has some real potential. I don't see him making the next great drama, but he has a flair for horror and comedy.