Last Girl Standing (2015) Review

lgs1Last Girl Standing (USA, 2015)

Dir: Benjamin R. Moody

Starring: Akasha Villalobos, Danielle Evon Ploeger, Brian Villalobos

UK Release TBC

Plot: After surviving the brutal massacre of The Hunter, a slasher movie style masked killer who wiped out all her friends, Camryn (Villalobos) is just trying to get on with her life. She struggles to move on, avoiding making friends at the dry cleaners she works at, and still living out of boxes at home. That is until Nick (Villalobos) starts working the counter at the dry cleaners. The two end up getting closer and Camryn meets Nick’s friends. Her new friends are in trouble though when Camryn starts seeing The Hunter stalking them and her fears that history might be repeating it self start to mount.

Last Girl Standing takes the archetypal Final Girl of the slasher movie sub-genre and shows us just what happens to that girl when she doesn’t find herself in a franchise of 5 or more films (How will she ever get to go to space if not for some seventh instalment?) and instead goes down a route of Survivor’s Guilt and PTSD. Another horror that takes the challenge of mixing horror with mental illness. It’s a trickier feat these days because it’s getting less and less acceptable to say “He’s crazy and that’s why he kills” without being an insensitive asshole these days.

lgs3Camryn is clearly a traumatised woman and her self-inflicted isolation doesn’t seem to be helping her condition, especially when she starts catching glimpses of The Hunter despite the fact that she saw him die. Last Girl Standing attempts to show the support friendship can offer through Camryn’s interactions with characters like Nick and Danielle (Evon). However when things go bad, it starts to get awfully close to the line of tastefulness, Camryn’s mental problems and violence don’t look good if it’s supposed to represent how PTSD manifests itself.

While it’s not an impossibility that the traumatic events of her past have effected her, most violent people do come from some past abuse, it doesn’t quite feel enough to make her actions feel justified. However films are not here to show us what the realms of probability and logic are and Last Girl Standing takes us along for a ride where violence perpetuates violence as Camryn struggles to escape her trauma.

Aside from it’s depiction of mental illness, Last Girl Standing is notable for it’s spin on the Slasher movie sub-genre. It’s not so openly meta as films like Scream or Cabin in the woods. It strives to create it’s own mythos rather than borrow from films like Friday the 13th . There is no screaming about people running up stairs when they should be going down them. This film is all about the Final Girl, and yet there’s no reference to things like her being a virgin or anything as cliché as that. Camryn is physically strong, it’s what helped her survive, but it’s the cracks in her mental well-being that make her an interesting character.

lgs2Last Girl Standing is a film all slasher movie fans should watch, an interesting film that stands out amongst all the love-letter slasher homages that keep trying to create the next Freddy Kreuger but ultimately has us watching another two hours of people running around the woods. Last Girl Standing tells us a new story, what happens next.

6/10

Icon Film Distribution Announces Further Titles For ‘FrightFest Presents’ Label!

ICON FILM DISTRIBUTION ANNOUNCES FURTHER TITLES FOR ‘FRIGHTFEST PRESENTS’ LABEL

Icon Film Distribution (IFD) and FrightFest, the UK’s leading horror fantasy film festival, have announced a further three films which will be released under the curated banner ‘FrightFest Presents’.

The new titles are as follows;

Night of the Living Deb-WEB1NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEB, directed by Kyle Rankin starring Maria Thayer (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), Michael Cassidy (Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice), Christopher Marquette (Just Friends, The Girl Next Door) and Ray Wise (Infestation, Twin Peaks).

After a girls’ night out, endearingly awkward Deb wakes up in the apartment of the most attractive guy in Portland, Maine. She’s thrilled, but can’t remember much of what got her there. Ryan only knows it was a mistake, and ushers her out the door into a full-scale zombie apocalypse. Now, a walk of shame becomes a fight for survival as the mismatched pair discovers that the only thing scarier than trusting someone with your life… is trusting them with your heart.

Some Kind of Hate-WEB1SOME KIND OF HATE, directed by Adam Egypt Mortimer starring Ronen Rubenstein (It Felt Like Love), Sierra McCormick (Disney’s ‘’Ant Farm’’), Grace Phipps (Fright Night, Tales of Halloween), Noah Segan (Starry Eyes, Looper), Lexi Atkins (Ted2, The Boy Next Door, Zombeavers), Spencer Breslin (The Happening, The Kid), Michael Polish (The Astronaut Farmer)

When a troubled teen is subjected to severe bullying, he accidentally conjures Moira Karp. Once a teenage girl pushed to suicide, Moira is now an unstoppable force on a mission of gruesome retribution. But when she goes too far, he must prevent her from spiraling out of control in this passionate and vividly supernatural thriller.

Some Kind of Hate is being sold for International by Devilworks.

Last-Girl-Standing-WEB3LAST GIRL STANDING, written and directed by Benjamin R Moody starring Akasha Villalobos (Where the Red Fox Lies), Danielle Evon Ploeger and Brian Villalobos.

Five years ago, a masked killer brutally murdered a group of friends. Since then, Camryn (Akasha Villalobos), the lone survivor, has struggled to reclaim her shattered life. Wracked with guilt and paranoia, Camryn leads a depressingly lonely existence until Nick (Brian Villalobos), a new co-worker, befriends Camryn and attempts to integrate her into his group of friends. Just when she might be ready to start a new life, Camryn’s past comes back to haunt her. Can Camryn ever have a life again, or is she destined to be alone?

All three titles recently had their UK theatrical premières at the FrightFest five day festival at the Vue Leicester Square.

frightfestpresents

The exclusive Icon and FrightFest partnership, first announced in April, will see titles released across the UK and Ireland via the distributor’s digital partners (including iTunes, Virgin Movies, Sky, Google Amazon, Xbox , Blinkbox, Google, Wuaki, TalkTalk and Volta) giving film fans instant access to some of their favourite FrightFest titles.

‘FrightFest Presents’ launches officially on 19 October with a consumer campaign pushing out from the beginning of the month. Each release has the collective backing of IFD and FrightFest across all marketing, PR and social channels.

Previously announced titles include AAAAAAAAH!, THE SAND, AFTERDEATH, LANDMINE GOES CLICK, EMELIE, THE LESSON and ESTRANGED.

Since FrightFest was set up 15 years ago, it has grown in size and stature, and is today internationally renowned for discovering exciting and original horror fantasy genre films. Last August, the festival screened 74 of the best horror films from around the world to UK audiences, with many world and European premieres. Over the years the festival directors, Greg Day, Alan Jones, Paul McEvoy and Ian Rattray, have also brought masters of the genre to the festival including Guillermo del Toro, George Romero, Dario Argento and Sam Raimi. FrightFest has developed into a brand leader for horror film, expanding its footprint in the UK by hosting special strands at other festivals to great success, such as the recent three-day event at the Glasgow Film Festival.

IFD has a longstanding track record in releasing genre films, from breakout hit PARANORMAL ACTIVITY which grossed a phenomenal £10 million at the UK box office to the cult vampire thriller 30 DAYS OF NIGHT, as well as re-issues of classic Hammer titles including DRACULA and THE MUMMY. Most recently, IFD released the critical and box office hits IT FOLLOWS and THE BABADOOK, Jennifer Kent’s psychological horror story, which burst out of FrightFest’s August festival to become one of the most talked about horrors of 2014.