Review: The Last Matinee (2021)

  • Director: Maximiliano Contenti
  • Writer: Maximiliano Contenti, Manuel Facal
  • Stars: Luciana Grasso, Franco Duran, Julieta Spinelli, Ricardo Islas

Review

Depending on which part of the world you’re in, you may not be able to go to the cinema or if you’re lucky or are happy to risk making your way to the cinema, you may want rethink it after watching The Last Matinee. The Uruguay-Argentinian film shows its influences with giallo and 80’s horror slashers at the forefront.

When Ana shows up to pick up her projectionist Father from the cinema, she finds out that he has taken a double shift. In poor health but stubborn, Ana’s Dad is eventually convinced to go home and Ana will takeover the projection duties for the evening session whilst she studies. Unbeknownst to everyone in the cinema a killer is waiting to cause some carnage. Once he gets inside and locks the door, it’s up to the cinema patrons to either survive or die.

The Last Matinee is gorgeously shot (kudos to Cinemaphotographer Benjamin Silva). Everything looks great, the way the cinema is captured makes me want to go there immediately (psycho killer notwithstanding). Contenti’s direction is excellent as well, clearly not only acknowledging his influences but having an a fluent understanding of the genre and style, capturing some indelible images. Hernán González captures the mood perfectly with a soundtrack that is ominous and blends the familiar with the original and to be honest its one of my favourite horror soundtracks in a long time.

Grasso is the girl next door and excellent as your final girl type. The rest of the supporting characters range from natural to not great. The killer (Islas) is largely one dimensional, I mean the translation of his character name is killer eats eyes, so that gives you all you need to know about the character. Some of the decisions made by the characters aren’t great ideas but that’s a small quibble. The film goes from suspenseful in the first two acts, to an outright gore-fest (that has some high quality effects) in the 3rd act and that shift might throw some viewers but it is refreshing to see a filmmaker just go for it. The Last Matinee is out to entertain you and it achieves that and then some. A really fun and stylish horror film that you should check out.

The Last Matinee is in Cinemas now and on VOD, Digital & DVD August 24, 2021 (USA).

Ryan Morrissey-Smith | Twitter: @TigersMS78

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