Sep 6, 2008

The Last Winter


An unknown friend mentioned this Weinstein produced Blockbuster exclusive and the idea of this seemed so familiar. I do remember hearing about this film; all the hype, all the positive reviews. The Last Winter is the latest eco-horror film. After attempting to enjoy the abysmal The Happening, I was welcoming a change of scenery with open arms.

The Last Winter was what I actually wanted out of horror. The setting was bleak and a glistening white. The tundra really does make for an environment perfect for crafting true horror. We all know what lies in the dark, but what hides in the open is worse. Just like [REC] before it, one scene managed to scare the hell out of me. This is a remarkable achievement which immediately made me swoon with affection towards this film.

The presence was bold and the mood was a grave reminder of the terrors to come further down the road. What really worked was taking the "Global Warming scare" and using it as a pawn to escalate the realism that works so well in the screenplay. That is, until the last half-an-hour. Things only go downhill from here. The mysterious force that plagues the crew makes a startling and horrifying debut.

You're shocked to find out that no one seems to realize what you're seeing, but that's the idea. You have to "believe" in order to see them, or be infected. Or any of the thousand other theories that could explain this otherworldly event. My point is, nothing is explained. If you are seeking enlightenment on the plot, tread elsewhere. The plot device used is as vast and empty as the filming location itself.

The Last Winter is relatable to The Thing. This in its own right is an amazing accomplishment. However, the ending is too open-ended. Forgive me for sounding like I'm close minded, but when the plot involves -Ghost Zombie Eskimo Moose- I'd like a bit of information to assure me that what I'm witnessing is sincere. That, and the director completely ripped off 28 Days Later for the ending.

What starts off as an amazing thriller with many moments that have brought shivers to my spine and a surplus orchestral score that is nothing but hair raising, I expected a bigger payoff. What I got was cheated and scammed. I don't care if The Last Winter is an eco issue or Native American spiritual propaganda, I still feel horrible for having to hate this movie due to the last 30 minutes. In all honesty though, The first half comes highly recommended.



Fox said...

I don't care if The Last Winter is an eco issue or Native American spiritual propaganda, I still feel horrible for having to hate this movie due to the last 30 minutes.

Right on!

And great job capturing a still of those WTF? fossil-fuel creatures.

The last 30 is indeed a warp. Fessenden speeds it up and ends it b/c he doesn't know what to do: "Er, umm... cause some global catastrophe real quick so we can end this movie!"

Anonymous said...

What bugged me is that all i wanted from this movie was some closure. Like in the final scene if the camera could have just shown you what she was looking at and it was that there was only water as far as the eye could see it would have made me think so much more highly of this film. Also did anyone else want to see someone open the box so we could see what was inside.

Soiled Sinema said...

Very much so, Anon.
I believe even to see a wasteland of Indian spectres to be a better scenario than the one we are left with.

Perhaps someone will do it right in the future.