Director: Benjamin R. Moody
Starring: Akasha Villalobos, Brian Villalobos & Danielle Evon Ploeger
Synopsis: She survived a brutal massacre, but lost her life. What happens to the final girl after the credits roll?
Rating: 18 Duration 91 minutes Release date: 4 July (UK)
Somewhere, buried deep inside Last Girl Standing is an excellent film. A film that looks into what happens after the brutal attacks that we see in so many horror films and that attempts to take a revealing look at how the horror genres many victims suffer after their ordeals. Placed more like a psychological thriller than a straight up horror, Last Girl Standing desperately wants to do something different, but suffers from a touch of naivety and an overwhelming sense of boredom.
Last Girl Standing essentially begins where most horror films end; with an attack on a group of teenagers at a camp site. All but one of the group is murdered in some dreadful manner, and only Camryn (Akasha Villalobos) survives the ordeal. When we next see Camryn, she is working a god-awful job and has little in the way of a social life. Camryn suffers from panic attacks and is plagued by the fateful night where she lost her closest friends at the hands of a killer known as The Hunter.
Life is understandably difficult for Camryn, but a sudden shining light is Nick (Brian Villalobos). Nick gets a job at the same dry cleaners where Camryn works and he takes an instant liking to her. Nick’s introduction comes at a time when Camryn is suffering from perceived visions of The Hunter more regularly. Nick’s introduction is as important to Camryn as it is to the events of the film, and calls into question how much is real and how much is in our main characters mind.
It’s an interesting set up to question one’s sanity after such an horrific event, but Last Girl Standing doesn’t have the nuance to handle the issue effectively. Granted it’s a difficult task to take on, and kudos must be given for attempting it, but it all feels too trite and predictable and never enables the audience to really get behind Camryn or the rest of the cast. Perhaps director Benjamin R. Moody sets his stall out too early or maybe his goals are too lofty, but the first time director takes too long to set the ball rolling and risks losing the audience at too early a stage.
Despite being 91 minutes long, Last Girl Standing can feel twice as long and suffers from a slow pace that could have benefited from speeding things up occasionally. Pacing aside, the films threadbare budget is blindingly obvious for all to see and combined with some decidedly dodgy acting it culminates in a film that could have done better. The shame is that the final act makes up for some of the films earlier misgivings and provides some bite and a much needed twist that the rest of the film is sorely lacking.
- Introduction by Paul McAvoy & Alan Jones
- Audio commentary with director Benjamin R. Moody & Rachel Moody
- Interview with Benjamin R. Moody from the 2015 NYC Horror Film Festival
- Behind the Scenes