Last Girl Standing, 2015
Written and directed by Benjamin R. Moody
Starring Akasha Villalobos, Danielle Evon Ploeger, Brian Villalobos, JD Carrera, Ryan Hamilton, Kelsey Pribilski, Laura Ray, Chris J. Knight
She survived a brutal massacre, but lost her life. What happens to the final girl after the credits roll?
What happens to the Final Girl when all is said and done and the credits have rolled? That’s what Last Girl Standing attempts to answer in this rather entertaining, but slightly mis-judged slice of reversal-slasher horror.
Set a few years after a brutal woodland killing, Final Girl Camyrn is just trying to get on with her life. Feeling like she cannot connect with anyone due to her previous friends being a touch dead (something she blames on herself), she’s shut into her own routine of waking up, going to work, going home and watching junk on TV. That is until new guy Nick joins her place of work, and she starts to insert herself into his group of friends. The problem with all this is that her attacker – The Hunter – is seemingly back from the dead and is stalking her every move.
To begin with the positives, Last Girl Standing is a very well-acted and beautifully directed movie. For as low budget as the movie is, Last Girl Standing looks like a studio movie and the practical effects are pretty spectacular. Furthermore, the performances from the entire cast are on-point. Akasha Villalobos is perfectly cast as the tortured Camryn and she delivers a very solid showing for the majority of the film. Similarly, Danielle Evon Ploeger is very good as the friend who is trying to help out, and Brian Villalobos is charming enough to be the right side of ‘too friendly’ as her new co-worker.
Furthermore, the movie’s anti-slasher style is a real plus. Last Girl Standing is not a slasher movie for the most part, but it still gives us all the tropes we’ve come to recognise. Just as Scream turned the rules of a slasher movie on their head, Last Girl Standing applies to them real-world principles. It’s very subtlety done, and one of the movie’s true strengths.
Sadly the movie falls apart as it reaches its third act. It feels as though they set up several plot misdirects to keep the audience on the edge of its seat, and then went with the most obvious one even though it doesn’t make any sense. It raises too many problematic questions about earlier plot points and the role victims play in society, and it doesn’t really make sense thematically. It’s hard to explain why without going into spoilers, but let’s just say that there’s a long scene before it and the events of the final act negate the very existence of said scene. It’s a real shame as it puts a huge downer on what up until this point was a very solid slasher movie with wonderful ideas.
Last Girl Standing is such a mixed affair. It’s partly brilliant, but there’s also a lot of duff ideas that are lazily added into the movie just to give it a conclusion. There are several other directions the movie could have gone, and each one of them is better than what they did. A real shame, as there was a lot of promise in Last Girl Standing that just didn’t deliver.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
Luke Owen is the Deputy Editor of Flickering Myth and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.