Last Girl Standing

| November 1, 2016

With Halloween coming and going this week, it was the season to dive into a bunch of horror movies, and while I tend to not seek them out, I do enjoy watching horror movies with friends.  Some can be effective and scary, while most are hilariously entertaining.  I also tend not to request horror movies for review because I rarely have the opportunity to watch them with people before I have to get the review posted.  However, something about the press release for Last Girl Standing intrigued me and made me want to check it out, even if it was by myself.  The cover promises a twist on the classic slasher movie and while I take such promises with a grain of salt, it did entice me to give the film a shot.  Plus, I was able to watch it with my girlfriend so I got the full communal experience of watching a new horror movie.

All that being said, I loved this film.  It has its flaws for sure.  It’s a bit slow at parts, it’s not the best at building tension, and most of the characters are completely forgettable.  However, the movie does have a great twist on the genre as promised and a really important message for its audience.

The story is about Camryn (Akasha Villalobos), the lone survivor of a serial killer hunting teenagers in the woods for a pagan ritual.  Much like countless horror movies before, Camryn watches everyone she cares about die horribly before managing to kill the monster and escape, but that’s just where this movie starts, looking at how these events shape the survivor and their life after the trauma.  The horror reasserts itself when Camryn starts to be stalked by the killer she believes she killed five years previous, and has to work to protect her newfound group of friends from coming to the same fate as “The Hunter’s” past victims.

Camryn is an interesting paradox of a character in that she simultaneously can’t stand to be alone, nor can she stand to be around people.  Every shot works to build her character, showing her running by herself, or standing at the bus, purposefully separated from the other people waiting.  Her job at a dry cleaner allows her to constantly have people around, but also lets her work in isolation.  Plus, her cleaning of clothes is a nice metaphor for her working to move past the stains of her personal tragedy.

My favorite part of the film is how the climax plays out, and I don’t want to discuss it because I don’t want to spoil anything about it.  So, what I will do is recommend anyone reading this check out Last Girl Standing and bear with it through the slower scenes because the payoff is well worth it.

Available now on DVD from MPI Home Video.

About the Author:

Joe Sanders Joe Sanders is a podcaster, playwright, and college instructor in Kalamazoo, MI. He has a master's degree in playwriting and a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Western Michigan University, where he currently teaches thought and writing, and is the host of the Quote Unquote Guilty podcast, part of the Word Salad Network.
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