07th Sep2022

Frightfest 2022: ‘The Last Client’ Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Signe Egholm Olsen, Anton Hjejle, Dan Zahle, Sara Fanta Traore | Written by Anders Rønnow Klarlundd, Jacob Weinreich | Directed by Anders Rønnow Klarlund

The Last Client is the type of movie that makes me love Frightfest. Would most people call it a horror movie? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t fit perfectly at the genre film festival. It’s dark and creepy, as well as featuring some pretty gruesome injuries, while not feeling like your typical horror movie means that it sticks out from the pack a little bit at Frightfest.

Susanne Hartmann (played by Signe Egholm Olsen) is a top psychologist who has recently been told by police that a quote from one of her books was discovered at a crime scene. Soon after that she is visited by a slightly peculiar man at her work asking for an immediate therapy session. It is clear the man is not well but Susanne realises it might be too late to get him to leave.

And much of the movie is then played out in the psychologist’s office, with the two lead characters talking to each other. Some horror might think that this doesn’t sound like the greatest of movies if you want to be scared or creeped out, but The Last Client has plenty going for it.

None more so than its central performance from Anton Hjejle as Mark. He is immediately unnerving with a great on-screen presence. He’s creepy and you instantly know that there is something very very wrong with him. Yet somehow, and this is the brilliance of both the writing and Hjejle’s performance, I did feel some kind of sympathy for the character by the time the final few moments come around. This was the plan of the writers/directors I’m sure but I didn’t think they would get there early on.

For small parts of the movie the dialogue didn’t always work. The conversations seemed a little awkward. That said, the story as a whole is extremely well written. It goes to very unexpected places but never feels silly or like it is just going for these for shock value. I think a second viewing would see these things as kind of logical and something that progresses the story nicely. I understand I am being vague but you really want to watch The Last Client with as few spoilers as possible.

Alongside Hjejle is Hartmann and she puts in an impressive performance too. I’ll be honest, for much of the movie she is a little in Hjejle’s shadow but in one of the last scenes she shows all her acting skills off and I loved it. I felt she acted exactly how I would in her situation and I could desperately feel all her frustrations.

Although there was a middle period of The Last Client where I thought it plodded along a little, it soon picked up and for most of its ninety-minute run time it’s absolutely gripping. I had no idea where it was going after the opening twenty minutes but I loved seeing it all unfold and I was glued to the screen until the very end. I don’t expect I’ll see many better or darker thrillers this year.

**** 4/5

The Last Client screened as part of this year’s Arrow Video London Frightfest.


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