The Traveler yet another feature film with only a half-hour Twilight Zone episode materials' worth in it. That's not to say it's not worth a look, but don't expect too much. Val Kilmer is surprisingly good in it, given his recent penchant for sleepwalking through roles (and I hardly blame him… have you seen The Thaw, or McGruber?).
Kilmer plays a mysterious "tall, dark stranger" type who wends his way into a small, out of the way town and gets booked into their quaint police station late on Christmas Eve after he says he must confess the murders of six people. Kilmer basically speaks approximately 30 words of dialogue, whistles Lacrimosa from Mozart's Requiem, and looks ominous… but he does it with easy assurance.
At first, the date reveal of "Christmas Eve" appears to be one of the actors' names, as it simply blends in (same font, same size) with the credits. It's an inauspicious opening, but the mystery does unfold nicely as the skeleton crew of cops begin to notice something very odd about their lone prisoner. Identifying himself only as "Nobody", it's weird enough when the man won't show up on film for his mugshot and his fingers don't show any prints on paper.
Meanwhile, the police officers have other problems to deal with. Mainly it's their guilt over having beat a suspect to death under covert orders from their superior, Detective Alexander Black (Dylan Neal) — but also it's their sudden, inexplicable deaths. That's right: haunted by visions of the dirty deed they did, one by one officers expire in some rather horrific ways. The gore factor is pretty much what separates The Traveler from The Twilight Zone.
Turns out, the reason the dutiful men in blue followed such an evil order from Black was, the suspect was a drifter who raped and murdered Black's wife and young daughter. The drifter looks an awful lot like Mr. Nobody, but the drifter is definitely dead… right?
Yeah, it's one of those. Pretty easy to figure out, but not too hard to watch.
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Reviewed by Staci Layne Wilson