Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Last Winter (2006)

Director: Larry Fessenden

Starring: Ron Perlman, James LeGros, Connie Britton, Zach Gilford, Kevin Corrigan, Jamie Harrold, Pato Hoffmann

More info: IMDb

Tagline: What if mankind only had one season left on Earth?

Plot: The American oil company KIC Corporation is building an ice road to explore the remote Northern Arctic National Wildlife Refuge seeking energy independence. Independent environmentalists work together in a drilling base headed by the tough Ed Pollack in a sort of agreement with the government, approving procedures and sending reports of the operation. When one insane team member is found dead naked on the snow, the environmentalist James Hoffman suspects that sour gases may have been accidentally released in the spot provoking hallucinations and insanity in the group. After a second fatal incident, he convinces Ed to travel with the team to a hospital for examination. However, weird events happen trapping the group in the base.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

"THE SCARIEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR." says Bob Strauss of the L.A. Daily News on the DVD cover.  HAH!  I says.  That's a pretty bold fucking claim to make.  Fessenden & co. do a very good job at building tension and creating a great, isolated atmosphere.  Perlman, who I usually dig, delivers an over-the-top villainous role that's just too much.  I would have really liked to have seen this character less of an obvious pro-oil company bad guy and more of a man with a job to do but with an inner conflict (while still remaining and ending on the wrong side of what's right).  I was most impressed by Connie Britton.  I really dig this broad.  At first the film feels like they're attempting to remake THE THING (1982) but after twenty minutes you start to see they're doing their own thing and leave the similarities behind.  The picture's only an hour and forty minutes long but it did drag in spots and the ending, while pretty neat, is something that you see coming a long way away but it's still rather satisfying.  It's easily good enough for me to seek out his earlier flick, WENDIGO (2001).

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