Last Girl Standing review: A credible feature debut from director Benjamin R. Moody.
Director: Benjamin R. Moody
Cast: Akasha Villalobos, Danielle Evon Ploeger, Brian Villalobos, JD Carrera
Running Time: 91 Minutes
Synopsis: A character study on the sole survivor of the Hunter campsite killer and what happens to her life after the credits role.
Discovered after De-Pixelated, his live-action shorts of video games were picked up by Defy Media and screened online to viewers through gametrailers.com, writer and director Benjamin R. Moody has finally expanded his horizons with his feature film debut Last Girl Standing.
An intimate character study on what happens to the final girl after she survives a horror movie, it’s an interesting premise that sadly fails to deliver the punch that I was hoping for.
In a twist of fortuity, last girl Camryn (Akasha Villalobos) finds herself as the sole survivor of a campsite massacre by a masked killer known as The Hunter. Five years on, Camryn continues to struggle with survivors guilt, preferring her disassociative existence to reclaiming her life. That is, until she meets her new dry cleaning co-worker Nick (Brian Villalobos), an affable and patient young man who shows interest in her and attempts to ingratiate her into his social circle. Hesitant to have close friends again, Camryn decides to cautiously step forward in an attempt to move on from her ordeal before her psychosis finally breaks.
Cinematographer Travis Jones, who previously worked with Moody on a number of his De-Pixelated shorts, does a nice job complementing Moody’s bleak and debilitating story world. There’s a fantastic reverse tracking shot early in the film that I found memorable despite its simplicity and his backlit shots of Camryn and Danielle’s (Danielle Evon Ploeger) subdued danse macabre at the Hunter’s burial site gives the film a much needed boost of ominous foreboding.
Overall, Last Girl Standing is a credible first time feature with promise and an interesting angle from which to view the horror genre. It’s just missing that je ne sais quoi to catapult it to something more.
Last Girl Standing review by Sacha Hall, August 2015.
Last Girl Standing will celebrate its World Premiere at Frightfest on Monday 31 August 2015 at 3:00 pm.