In a cinematic world where most horror films are loud and flashy, it might be easy to overlook Larry Fessenden’s quietly creepy THE LAST WINTER. But if they do, genre fans would be missing out on a truly unsettling film that centers on the real-life chills of the changing environment. Ron Perlman (HELLBOY) stars as Ed Pollack, an oil company employee who arrives in Alaska. He’s eager to take some of the tundra’s oil bounty, but the rising temperatures have an environmental scientist (James LeGros, ZODIAC) worried about the irreparable damage they could do to the Alaskan wilderness. Soon things start to go wrong at their camp, and one of their one dies mysteriously. Whether it’s cabin fever, poisonous gas, or supernatural forces, something is threatening the camp and the people who live there.
Fessenden imbues the well-paced film with a frightening sense of menace, but he’s not without help. Director of photography G. Magni Águstsson perfectly captures the isolation of the Alaskan landscape with his framing of the camp, and Jeff Grace’s score adds to the sense of dread without ever descending into cliché. THE LAST WINTER also features a strong cast who ably communicate the growing confusion and terror. As in his work for directors such as Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Guillermo del Toro, Perlman is a highlight here as the gruff Pollack. As Pollack’s former love, Abby, Connie Britton shows the talent that fans of her role on FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS have come to expect. Though this is his first film, Zach Gilford–also of FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS–is excellent as the first of the team to feel the eerie effects of the environment.
- NTSC Region 1