Posted: 04/13/2009

 

After Last Season

by Elaine Hegwood Bowen




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“The end of a season means the beginning of a new one.”

After Last Season is a different type of film. The psycho-thriller blends science fiction, mystery and murder, with a lot of psychological twists thrown in.
I don’t really know what it is, whether it’s the way it was filmed or the way scenes and situations are played out, but the movie as a whole is so entrancing.
The thriller unfolds as three people are murdered within weeks of each other, and employees of a medical research company are trying to figure out just what’s going on.
The movie is filmed in serene settings of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and it seems to play out in pristine, sterile scenarios. As students try to learn the intricacies of MRI’s, other strange things keep happening.
The two main characters, Matt and Sarah, try to figure out the murders, and they even use some of their scientific expertise to try to tap into just what’s making the criminal tick.
Using a mind altering state of consciousness technique, the students seem to visualize the murder of one student in some form of another, as they are trying to complete their studies. But it seems the closer they get to uncovering the murderer, a hidden force attempts to control their thoughts. Suddenly, they find that their very lives are in danger.
Writer, director Mark Region says of the film, “I wanted to make a film which would captivate the audience and add a new dimension to the classic suspense and psychological thriller. It took us five years to go from concept, writing, assembling the production parts and casting to actually finally finishing the film. The process took a while, but it’s because of our efforts that we are able to finish this film.”
Some things are imagined, and some images randomly appear, as the scenes leading up to the murder scenarios play out in the students’ heads. The two try to figure out whether a scene in their minds that shows a woman in a house being approached by a man with a knife is real or not. Is there another murder underway?
Mysterious things begin to happen, such as a chair coming to life and wreaking havoc on the room. Some times the events in the movie seem pretty outlandish, but I tried to view them within the scope of the film’s novelty—that being in the way the film was produced.
Can the students psycho-analyze or will their minds to conjure up enough images to solve yet another murder that seems to be rocking this small town. Or will their minds “short-circuit” and cause other unworldly or surreal occurrences?
The Index Square release After Last Season hits theaters in June.

Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago.



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