Stars: Mena Suvari, Brian Austin Green, Joanne Kelly, Robert Picardo, Fiona Gubelmann, Zack Ward, David de Lautour, Leif Gantvoort, Curtiss Frisle | Written and Directed by Travis Oates
Ten people arrive at a secluded mountain resort to find it completely deserted. With no gas for the return trip, the visitors are forced to stay and investigate the mystery surrounding the abandoned lodge. As their friends start disappearing for no apparent reason, tensions grow as the survivors try to figure out what is gong on, without disappearing themselves.
If there is one thing I have learned from watching horror films over the years, is that going to a secluded lodge which is ‘miles from anywhere’ may seem like a fantastic idea but it NEVER is. If you are low on fuel by the time you get there, you might as well just lie down on the floor and wait for the inevitable. Just within the first five minutes of Last Stop, the fact that the characters are miles from anywhere and are low on fuel is firmly established. From that moment on, all viewers instantly assume that all the characters are pretty much dead.
It wasn’t a subtle beginning. But things in the film pick up as the air of intrigue and mystery kick in. Where is everyone? What has happened to caused them to leave and apparently drop everything? Why is the weather behaving so weirdly? The group’s first reaction is to split up Scooby-Doo style and my hopes for their survival plummeted to unknown depths. More mystery is then introduced as members of the group themselves begin to go missing and everyone starts to get a little… worried.
The cast of Last Stop is one of the film’s saving graces. This is a very strange story but the actors gave it the level of believability it needs to stop it from being ridiculous, or worse, laughable. They hooked me in as they screamed and cried, trying desperately to find out what was going on right until the end. The overall feeling of this film is also very creepy and unnerving; definitely relying on what isn’t there to scare you more than what is. There are a few jump scares where it is so clear what is going to happen they end up in more of an eye roll than a jump… but you can’t knock them for trying!
There are two particular issues I have with Last Stop though. For a film which asks ‘what is happening?’ almost every few seconds, you never find out. I don’t want to spoil the ending which is actually quite cool, but I did feel a little empty inside, hoping for a big pay off which never came. Also, the ‘weird weather’ which happens in the film is never explained or linked to what is happening to the characters in any way. So why did they even include it?
Is Last Stop creepy? Yes? Interesting story? Yes. Good Acting? Definitely. My favourite of the bunch being the lovely Joanne Kelly (Warehouse 13). But is it worth watching if nothing is really revealed at the end and you are just left to wonder forever more? That’s for you to decide…
Last Stop is released on DVD by 101 Films on February 22nd.