Last Girl Standing (2015)

last-girl-standingIn writer/director Benjamin R. Moody’s film, the lead character is one hell of a fighter, but her trauma may be having the best of her as she sees signs of her attacker throughout her life and can’t quite let go.  Camryn, the only survivor of a massacre in the woods is trying to live with PTSD and survivor’s guilt.  As she is taken in by a new group of friends, the killer from her past may be haunting her. The lead character he creates here is a strong young woman but she does not have much of a back story outside of being the only survivor from a massacre during a camping trip to the woods.  The other characters, her new friend and potential love interest Nick and his roommates have more set up than she does almost.  They are presented and explained quickly but it gives them connections and personalities.

For Camryn, the personality is what is seen and shown, but not a lot that is explained or given background.  This however, somehow works here as her mystery adds to the wonder if she is really being stalked or if her mind is playing tricks on her.  Given the part of Camryn more personality and a lot of presence is Akasha Villalobos who toes the line of reality and craziness.  She is constantly worried for her safety and increasingly wondering about her own mental state.  Villalobos’ performance shows this nicely without over acting which would have thrown the film’s credibility out the window.  She shows nice touches of sanity in the crazy moments and craziness in the sane ones.  Supporting her for most of the film are Danielle Evon Ploeger as Danielle and Brian Villalobos as Nick.

Their performances show care for their new friend even when the script gives them no reason to.  They show emotions and that they seem to genuinely care.  The cast in general does well, with one or two performances coming off a bit less on point but as those characters get little screen time, they are much of a bother.  The film revolving around a massacre and a killer known as The Hunter, the effects in the opening part and the last, very violent act needed to be good and they are.  These effects by Edwin Wise, Lauren Rich, and the actor in The Hunter costume Jason Vines are done with talent and the blood comes spilling in great quantity while looking great. The film also looks very good.  The cinematography by Travis Jones is well done and uses lighting to good effect.

The camping sequence at the start is actually well lit and shows the action while keeping the feeling of a night in the woods.  Later in the film, there are scenes lit up by car headlights which looks cool and gives off a specific feeling, but unfortunately, the lens flares are just annoying (as they usually are).  The rest of the film looks good and is shot in a way to see enough and keep some mystery at the same time. Last Girl Standing is an interesting take on what happens to that last girl, to that final girl, once the story is over.  The lead played by Akasha Villalobos is interesting even though she has very little background; she keeps the attention and makes the viewer want to see if she is really stalked by the killer she survived or if she has gone crazy.  The blood is plentiful at the start, and especially the end and the film itself looks good.  It’s an interesting and fun at times watch.