In their 5 Bloody Knife review, E.L. King calls their Popcorn Frights Film Festival screening of The Last Matinee a total neon horror, neo-giallo gore-fest with kills so stunning and gore so good it physically made them gag.
At Popcorn Frights Film Festival we got the opportunity to screen the neon horror narrative feature, The Last Matinee. Set in Montevideo in 1993 on a stormy rain soaked night, an engineering student named Ana takes convinces her father to let her take over his projectionist duties for him at a declining small town movie theatre. Unbeknownst to Ana (Luciana Grasso) the audience watching Frankenstein: Day of the Beast are being murdered by a mysterious cloaked killer.
This film gets all of our bloody knives! The Last Matinee is a total neon horror, giallo gore-fest with kills so stunning and gore so good it physically made us gag. Honestly, we were yelling at the screen, laughing and trying not to vomit. The gore was that perfect! We haven't had a guttural reaction to a horror film like that in quite some time.
"No texting. No talking. No breathing."
The Spanish language film directed and co-written by Maximiliano Contenti with Manuel Facal and distributed by Dark Star Pictures, is the kind of film that comes along every so often, not unlike Wes Craven's Scream (1996) with the potential to revitalize the Slasher genre. It is the very essence of a 90s Slasher film and quintessential in it's execution. Leaving the audience in a state of shock, awe and wanting more; except for the pickle jar!
The film stars Ricardo Islas as the hooded and deranged Slasher. Islas also happens to be the director of the movie being screened at the cinema, Frankenstein: Day of the Beast (2011). He is known for directing and producing Spanish horror films. The film also stars Julieta Spinelli, Franco Duran and Pedro Duarte.
No horror trope is left unturned in The Last Matinee, but it all felt relatively fresh. The silently stalking serial killer reminiscent of Michael Myers in John Carpenter's Halloween (1978). A group of young victims and a final girl facing down the monster; a trope beat to death in the 1980s before Craven made it cool again. There is also a hint of self-awareness as we the viewer and the film's movie goers indulge in a horror fully aware of the tropes of the genre.
Horror genre fans are sure to appreciate this blood-soaked film's nostalgia both for classic Slashers, going to the cinema and it's ability to adhere to the slasher formula while infusing it with a modern giallo style. The film doesn't suffer from it's lack of character development. In fact, a Killer with no motive is one of the scariest things there is. We went to a theatre for the first time in two-years after screening The Last Matinee and were riddled with anxiety the entire time. We can safely say this film is delightfully eye-catching and effective night at the cinema.
The Last Matinee was one of the narrative horror films featured at the Popcorn Frights Film Festival. The film is now in limited theaters ahead of its Digital HD and VOD release on Aug. 24th, 2021.