‘The Last Matinee’ Review: Killer Attractions
One rainy evening in Montevideo in 1993, a towering figure walks into a seedy movie theater where the day’s last screening of a horror feature film is about to begin. The auditorium is almost empty – a young couple here, rowdy teenagers there – and, in the projection booth, a distracted student (Luciana Grasso) replaces her ailing father. An encounter between the menacing figure and a young boy results in a dreamlike photo of multicolored candy balls bouncing up a staircase – an image that will be repeated later, only with much more disgusting spherical objects.
“The Last Matinee” embodies a style that I consider slow horror – not in the sense of a dragging tale, but in the extreme patience and relish with which it deals with its abominations. The firm hand on this particular wheel belongs to Uruguayan director Maxi Contenti, whose name hints at a placid temperament, but whose tastes extend to gloriously bloody. In one prime example, captured with amused precision by cinematographer Benjamín Silva, the blood from a smoker’s slit throat is eclipsed by the milky haze of his last puff.
Taking his hat off to the Italian thriller genre known as giallo, Contenti (who wrote the straightforward screenplay with Manuel Facal) sets up a witty and very specific series of killings of members of the public unaware they are. both voyeurs and prey. Highlighting this cheeky duality, the filmmakers chose Ricardo Islas – the actual director of the 2011 feature film starring in the theater – as the killer. It is described in the press releases only as the Eye-Eater, which tells you everything you need to know; all i know is i might never look at a jar of pickles the same way again.
The last morning
Unclassified. Duration: 1 hour 28 minutes. In Spanish, with subtitles. In theaters.
#Matinee #Review #Killer #Attractions