Saturday, July 27, 2013

Last Kind Words (2012)


Synopsis taken from IMDb
17-year-old Eli has just moved with his family deep into the backwoods of Kentucky to work on the isolated farm of a local recluse. Inexplicably drawn into the strange forest that lies beyond the farm, Eli encounters the beautiful, sweet and mysterious Amanda, seemingly the perfect girl. But the discovery of decaying bodies hanging from the tree, he realizes that the forest- and Amanda- are harboring some very dark secrets. Suddenly, Eli is living in waking nightmare where the lines between life and death are scrawled in blood, and there's no escaping the terror from beyond the grave.

I'm a sucker for anything that Brad Dourif's in. What can I say? I'm a fan. I always talk about how underrated of an actor he is. People don't realize the potential and talent he has and that finds him often under utilized. What I like about him as an actor is that he's always genuine, and no matter what role he plays he's always empathetic and believable, because he comes off as a real guy and not an actor. When I found out he was in this, I knew I would be watching.

To my surprise, I didn't end up liking this movie too much I mean, it was well done and pretty decently acted. It severely lacks in scares though and that's what killed it for me. I only got a little creeped out once and it was very briefly when Eli angered Amanda by jumping the fence. Aside from that, this movie was actually sad, and seemed more like a drama than anything.

The story was nice, good ghost story, but it comes off like "Mama" in the sense that the point of the film is to make you sympathize with the characters, and leaves you nothing to be scared with. The first half hour of this film is good, and really builds up some suspense that it never delivers on.

I can 100% relate to Eli, granted that my growing up wasn't as bad. I know what it's like to eat a feces sandwich of life everyday due to being in a violent environment.  And the choice to somehow stay sane in your own head when all you want to do is break down, is a familiar feeling. Eli didn't become a troubled youth like most who deal with abusive households, he didn't become a criminal because daddy was a jerk. He took his verbal and physical beatings like a man and kept his chin up, which I relate to and respect. That is of course, until he makes a wimpy decision at the end that ultimately resolves in him giving up.

This particular film is a character film, the scares aren't as high up on the priority list as getting to know the character's is. I've got no problem with that as long as the movie is scary, which it's not. Instead I ended up finding myself feeling bad for most of the people in this movie, which I didn't care for.

Funny that the leads name is Eli, because his relationship with the ghost of Amanda is very similar to that of Eli and Oskar from the film adaptation of the groundbreaking vampire book,"Let the Right one In". I didn't really care for Eli and Amanda's relationship, because it was too soft and I couldn't help but wish that there was more to it other than sorrow.

There's a twist towards the end that I saw coming a mile away, and if you watched this film and didn't know it was coming, you must not have been paying attention. It's practically in big red blinking letters throughout the film. The fact that the twist was lackluster dropped the film down another peg...

What started off as a promising ghost story with real characters, turned into a slow, boring film that ultimately has no payoff. You just watch it and it's over. The characters are pushed on the viewers too hard, so you lose patience and stop caring. I guess the film ends differently than you'd expect, and it's all around negative and depressing movie. Funny thing is, I got too tired to finish this film the night I started it, but I couldn't wait to see how it concluded. I never would have guessed that my final opinion on this film would be so low.

This one is on Netflix instant now, and it may be for some of you, but it's not for me. It really is a shame that such a back story and character story was used on an uneventful ghost story. Oh well, I guess. Brad Dourif is still the man though.

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