DIRECTOR Phil Hawkins WRITER Phil Hawkins STARS Robert Englund; Finn Jones; Emily Berrington SCREENING Today at 18.15, 21.00 & 23.05

The Last ShowingSomething of a missed opportunity, The Last Showing is at times a clunky affair. A mise-en-abîme approach held in one location holds great potential for some claustrophobic storytelling, and yet here, there is no energy wasted on subplot, the premise as simple as this: a projectionist traps a young couple in the cinema and shoots a horror film of his own. However as the late-night, crowd-pleasing turn it clearly aspires to be, the film is successful, flipping the role of the antagonist on its head to have us rooting for the madman — he is lamenting the state of the multiplex just like any real fan of cinema, after all. The casting of Robert Englund in this case was therefore a coup, adding a tongue-in-cheek aspect to what is already a scoff at the genre today.

But there is no escaping the fact that, overall, The Last Showing is a hollow affair. Suffering from what is a really very basic screenplay — this is a first-time feature for Phil Hawkins as a writer — there is frustratingly little to sink one’s teeth into, the reliance on the audience’s knowing nod simply too great. Certainly there are some fine moments — the celluloid strangling of the cinema manager who doesn’t care about aspect ratios is a nice touch, for example, as is Englund’s breaking of his own fourth wall — but these are too few and far between to liven up proceedings. As such, The Last Showing is just as forgettable as the formulaic films it seeks to mock.

Posted by Naila Scargill

Naila is the founder and editor of Exquisite Terror. Holding a broad editorial background, she has worked with an eclectic variety of content, 
ranging from film and the counterculture, to political news and finance. She is the Culture Editor at Trebuchet, and generally gets around.