Horror movies have certain beats and certain rhythms that audiences have come to expect. One of these traditions is that any slasher movie usually ends with one final female who manages to escape the killer’s grasp. This is where writer/director Benjamin R. Moody’s Last Girl Standing begins. Akasha Villalobos is Camryn, a girl who escapes a slaughter after all her friends have been killed. Five years on, she still hasn’t recovered from the trauma and she’s still trying to put her life back together – then she begins to see the killer lurking in the shadows. Is he back to finish the job he began five years earlier, or is it all just in Camryn’s mind?
Last Girl Standing has echoes of the Scream franchise running through it, but Moody’s film doesn’t have the knowing wink that made Wes Craven’s movies so popular. This is more about the psychology of the trauma than ticking-off genre tropes. It’s a horror film with an art-house sensibility and it builds a lot of character to build to the final pay-off. It’s quite refreshing to see a horror flick that uses the slasher film as a stepping-off point and also delivers something a little different. It leans more towards psychological drama than pure horror and there are moments which also lean heavily on the early tension building scenes of Halloween which see Michael Myers lurking in the shadows.
Benjamin R. Moody appears to have a knack for adding a fresh touch to horror and it will be interesting to see if he can take a variety of different fright flicks and add a new spin to those too. Last Girl Standing is a slow burner, but gore hounds will be happy that this builds to a bloody climax.
You get a great selection of special features on this DVD for Last Girl Standing. You get an introduction, interviews and a commentary. Good stuff.