"I had heard about this movie on a couple of my favorite movie websites and I decided to check it out when I noticed it was going to be showing at a small theater near my college campus. I wasn't expecting much; in all honesty I was hoping it wasn't going to be so cheesy I was going to have to leave half way through. But "The Last Winter" was a very, very cool little film with a couple of very eerie and creepy scenes that really come out of nowhere. The story revolves around an oil drilling crew stationed in Alaska who experience supernatural feelings and visions before a horrendous series of grisly incidents begins to take place. The movie has a fairly strong message about global warming and though I'm not one who worries about this because I really feel it's pushed on us so much to get political leaders elected more than anything, the movie still works. Fissenden is the director of the horror film "Wendigo" and this film deals with the ancient beasts, as well as the darkness of the human psyche. If you like bizarre horror and Ron Perlman from "Hellboy," then check this little gem out!"
An Outstanding Indie Thriller!
Jsyn | NY | 06/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Don't let a few negative opinions dissuade you from discovering this chilling and intelligent indie gem.
If you are a fan of moody, thought-provoking thillers drenched in melancholia (very close in tone to something like John Carpenter's The Thing) then this film is for you.
If you gravitate towards the more popular, mainstream horror fare or just the gory stuff, try watching this with an open mind and hopefully expand your horizons!
A truly excellent genre film."
A different kind of frightening...
D. C. Harris | 07/06/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Not the best film I've ever seen, but a damn good one and definitely worth seeing, especially if you're in the right frame of mind. The story is creepy, the atmosphere even more so, and the acting is good for an independent film. If nothing else, this movie is a refreshing change of pace from the same old hollywood "blockbuster" sequels, tired "super hero" remakes, or yet another Will Smith retread... Just how many times can an actor play the same role in different films before audiences get bored?
Give it a shot. You may be surprised."
Gets Under Your Skin
L. Diemer | USA | 08/14/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Somewhat problematic, but I enjoyed it. Before I get into what I liked or didn't like about this film, I wanted to comment on the negative reviews. I found it ironic that so many of them seemed to direct the majority of their anger at the environmental themes found in the film, as opposed to the camera work, storytelling, and acting.
It's a work of fantasy, people. If you don't happen to subscribe to current global-warming theories, this movie isn't attempting to change your mind. I mean, tying global warming to vengeful supernatural entities that may or may not exist outside of the minds of the protagonists? Do any of these reviewers really think Larry Fessenden is trying to suggest that this is what's really going on with the environment?
It struck me more as a "what if" film. If I watch a film about a young girl possessed by demonic entities, I don't base my enjoyment of it on whether or not I believe in god, the devil, or the minions of either.
I can enjoy The Exorcist, whether or not I believe that the events it depicts could happen in real life..
(puts soapbox away)
The Last Winter is slow, but very atmospheric. Comparisons to the John Carpenter version of The Thing are pretty apt, with regards to setting and tone, although The Last Winter is far less bleak and paranoid, and the characters are more appealing.
It certainly takes its time developing and the effects are modest, but fairly effective. Or maybe I just have a soft-spot in my heart for daemonic elk? Some very nice performances, as well, although Ron Pearlman's character is perhaps a bit overdone. The swooping camera movement that mimics the viewpoint of the crows (ravens?) that appear in the film as they fly over the survey camp was a very nice touch.
It's an eerie film, one that stayed with me for days afterward. And beautiful, as well. Maybe a horror film for those with a "photographic sensibility"? Certainly not a film for those who only like their horror dumb and bloody. You do have to participate a bit in this one, and I always feel like that helps keep me involved. "
Remember that ad: Don't mess with Mother Nature?
Judy K. Polhemus | LA | 01/10/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
""The Last Winter"-- in reference to what? A couple's last time together? A specific time period for the end of anything? Or literally, the last winter on Earth? Filmed in Alaska and Iceland, "The Last Winter" is a psychological thriller based on the supernatural. Maybe not. Maybe it's a political documentary posed in supernatural trappings. Whatever it is, "The Last Winter" is a film surely provocative, certainly chilling, and possibly prophetic.
You've seen films like this before: slow but steady accumulation of suspense, the setting (ice and snow) as character, discordant, hair-on-end music to match the scene, and gradual de-stabilizing of various characters.
For the rational viewer, there are reasons for break-downs: isolation, frigid temperatures, change in love affairs, increasing concern over the vacillation of temperatures and thawing of the perma-frost. By this revelation the true nature of the story is revealed.
Escalation of bizarre deaths becomes shocking. There is an unintentional loosening in the tight binding between the rational and irrational worlds and things slip through.
There is a powerful message in this indie film with multiple levels of truth, each chilling in its own level. A must-see film for the thoughtful person concerned with the eco-environment."