Friday, 29 June 2018

The Last Showing (2014)





Synopsis

A couple trapped in a cinema are manipulated into becoming unwilling actors in a film being captured by CCTV cameras.

Review

Stuart is clearly a psychopath. Working in the movie theater for too long perhaps, Stuart decides to make a film himself, using midnight matinee customers and other members of staff as an unwilling cast. He drugs and kidnaps patron Allie, and records the CCTV footage of her lover, Martin, as he tries to get her back, and escape the theater.





Although the antagonist, Robert Englund (A Nightmare on Elm Street) steals the show here, portraying a chuckling nut, with a well thought out plan. It's nice to see Englund having a substantial part, too, as with icons like himself in lower budget movies, walk-ons and cameos abound. Usually enough to justify a front cover billing. Unwilling participants Martin (Finn Jones - Iron Fist) and Allie (Emily Berrington - Humans) are joined by Night Manager Clive (Malachi Kirby - Eastenders). All do a solid job in the frantic situation.

There's little in the way or SFX here, but Director Phil Hawkins (The Four Warriors) pulls enough tension to make a movie theater (a VUE in the UK, actually) scary.

More on the plot - including spoilers between the showers:


THE SPOILER SHOWER

Having tricked Martin into killing Manager Clive - believing him to be Allie's kidnapper - Stuart cat and mouses both Martin and Allie. He persuades Allie that it was Martin who drugged her, and has, perhaps, raped her. He convinces her to then call the police on Martin, and cobbles the CCTV footage together to implicate Martin to them.

It's all very clever, and is only pulled off because of Englund's talent as an actor.

In the finale, Martin is waving a gun around and is gunned down by the police - Stuart is last seen recording the one officer who suspects something more happened than Martin going crazy.

Sure it's sequel baiting, but to be honest, I would watch it.


THE SECOND SPOILER SHOWER

Character actor Keith Allen (Shallow Grave) pops up at the end as lead D.I. for the third act, which adds a nice gravitas to the proceeding.

With what the film could have been, it's surprisingly fresh. Held together with strong performances and good direction, a neat twist ending, and a deranged villain, The Last Showing is a nice not-too-scary horror/thriller for a Friday night.





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