We all have horror stories of a trip to the movies being ruined by unruly audiences. However The Last Matinee promises to deliver a killer time at the cinema. Literally.
A cold, wet day. A declining cinema. All you want is to get out of the rain and watch a good film. But who else is in there, hiding in the dark? When Ana takes over projection duties from her ailing father, she doesn’t expect anything worse than a broken reel or a burned-out bulb. But there’s a sadistic killer in the auditorium, and soon blood is running in the aisles as he starts picking off the audience members one by one. Can Ana and the few remaining survivors escape the murderous madman, or will they be victims of his matinee massacre?
The film is clearly inspired by the Giallo and Grindhouse genres. From the use of red and blue lighting to the grit and grime of the cinema itself, it has the feel of an old faded 35mm print that has been through the mill a few times. Maxi Contenti does the same to his characters, peppering the movie with a number of gruesome and gleefully gory kills.
The killer seemingly has no motive. The innocent victims only crime was to be at that particular screening. OR are they killed and eyeballs removed because they were guilty of not giving the film their full attention? Or committing a sin during the movie such as talking or heavy petting?
BTW, the killer keeping his trophies in a glass jar like pickled onions makes eyeballs the most unappealing cinema snack since the hot dog!
As a former projectionist oneself, the “final girl” Ana makes for a sympathetic lead. Similar to Dante in Clerks, she “wasn’t even supposed to be here today”. Thrust into a situation that is more stressful than a discovering the film reels are out of order during the opening night of Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part II. Luciano Grasso instills her with a steeliness and resourcefulness that drives her will to survive, and fix a broken reel. Although one does question her attention to the film when she is doing her homework at the same time…
If anything, this slasher could have taken its knife to its own runtime. Despite being only 87 minutes, the film does lag slightly in the second act. The rate of kills should have matched the time it takes to finish off a large popcorn before the end of the trailers.
That being said, have you have ever wished for a nasty end to anyone who has ever, gulp, taken their shoes and socks off during a movie? Then The Last Matinee is the lurid lunchtime screening for you.
The Last Matinee will premiere on the alternative streaming service ARROW on 1st December and will also be released on Limited Edition Blu-ray on 6th December.
Director: Maxi Contenti
Stars: Ricardo Islas, Luciana Grasso, Franco Duran
Runtime: 87 minutes