Comments on watching and making films.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

DVD - The Last Winter

The Last Winter is one of those films that you have high hopes for, and they don't exactly get dashed, but they definitely aren't met in the way you were hoping for. Actor Larry Fessenden directs this eco-horror tale about a group of oil rig workers trying to set up an ice road to bring in equipment to set up in the just opened Alaska Wildlife Refuge. Some force, however, whether natural or super natural, is killing them, one by one.

The film has an interesting and poignant enough story - it's a cautionary tale about using the last of our resources in an area we don't fully understand. It's also an attempt to show how little we know about nature and its defenses. Ultimately, though, I feel like the one-sided, and almost cliche characters kind of ruin the film. I mean, it just seems like everyone is a carbon copy of another character in a different film (John Carpenter's The Thing, seems to be the  most obvious comparison). You got the guy who just wants to get the job done at any cost. You've got the one girl who will hop in bed with whoever's available. You've got the mildly spiritual guy. There's always a young buck, and a mechanic with a sarcastic sense of humor. 

The Last Winter I think COULD have been a much cooler film if Fessenden had gone against horror conventions, and really gave these characters more interesting identity's, and not steered the plot so far into the familiar. It wasn't a bad film, I just think it could have been a lot better. The fact that the ending was so vague also really upset me. You'll understand if you watch it, and, if your horror fan, I would say watch it. It's only about an hour and a half. You may love it. If your not big on horror, you probably won't like it that much.

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