Wednesday, October 12, 2016

31 Days of Halloween 2016: Last Girl Standing

2015, Benjamin R. Moody -- download

Themes. They seem to be the theme of the season.

The Final Girl, the Last Girl -- the socio-sexual comment on who deserves to survive an attack by a psychopath. She is usually the nice girl, the chaste girl, the one everyone roots for. Where all her (probably promiscuous) friends will die under the blade, she will go face to face with the killer and escape and/or kill him. Camryn is that girl; The Hunter was that killer.

This indie movie opens with promise, a classic camping weekend gone deadly wrong. Camryn survives, springing one of The Hunter's traps on himself. And then we get a fast forward of the years following: medications, hospitalization, a rising cult, people fascinated with The Hunter and disputes over his gravesite. Camryn emerges working a lonely, solitary job at a (Austin?) laundromat where she quietly washes and folds clothes, a routine that brings her home every night and avoids everyone. Until the new guy starts, and she starts seeing The Hunter again. Things are unraveling.

Is the cult active? Is she going nuts? Is the new guy in on it; are his friends? Is she being manipulated, toyed with? Do they have an end goal? Even with all these questions, I found myself very pissed off at whomever was fucking with Camryn. In your typical toned down indie way, the movie doesn't really make any character completely likable but nobody is really a bad guy, nobody is really exempt from possibly being Camryn's tormentor.

** spoilers **

And then the turn, the crescendo of the climax and it all falls apart. I was not particularly happy with the path it chose, to reverse fortunes and have Camryn become the legacy of The Hunter. She has finally cracked, finally succumbed to the pressures of her experience and sees disciples of The Hunter in everyone. And she kills everyone.

I felt ripped off. I get it, they want a twist, a reversal. But so much had been about Camryn recovering. And they tear that away from us and her. But there is another lone survivor...