Ceris' 31 Days of Horror Challenge: The Last Showing
This is another film I’ve not seen before but having read the synopsis I’m not sure I’m going to like it, mainly because this could happen to you – some looney tune could lock you in a cinema and film your every move.
A film purist, appalled at the state of the current cinema scene, is fired from a movie theatre. Determined to make his mark on the world and shoot his own horror film, he trapped a couple inside a cinema and begins recording.
The opening credits of the film show a young couple enjoying a date night together, while an older man opens an envelope addressed to him and he doesn’t look happy as he appears to be demoted from projectionist to snack guy. The young couple, Martin & Allie, are at a bar, when Allie reveals she has tickets to a midnight showing of The Hills Have Eyes 2, but Martin doesn’t seem convinced. Back at the cinema, Stuart, the fired projectionist, is in the film room and seems to be playing around with the cameras, much to the annoyance of his boss who is watching through a camera. Martin tries to get some snacks and is served by Stuart who offers them a drink upgrade, into which a weird liquid is poured and makes the drink tastes funny.
Mr Manager is pissed off with Stuart again as he has closed the ladies’ toilets and is now not answering his radio, so he goes on the hunt for him and finds him in the projection room – this isn’t going to end well. The manager tries to fire him but Stuart tells him he quits, before he attacks him and ties him up, however in the chaos he hits the light switch in the screen, causing Martin and Allie to become unintentionally aware of the situation, but Allie distracts Martin by kissing him, much to the annoyance of Stuart who is watching them, and promptly turns off all the lights, before forcing them out of the screen by a high pitched noise.
Allie suddenly doesn’t seem well – could it possibly have anything to do with the mysterious liquid she drank earlier? Stuart is now essentially a peeping Tom, watching their every move on camera. Allie, still feeling unwell goes to the Out of Order bathroom – surprise surprise – and a camera suddenly appears under one of the stalls – I wonder who that could be? Allie collapses on the floor of the bathroom, and the camera man moves in closer and watches over her. Martin, who has gone to look for someone for a refund, seems unaware that the shutters for the main door have come down and they are now trapped inside the cinema.
Realising his girlfriend has been gone a while, he goes looking for her, but she has mysteriously disappeared from the bathroom. He tries calling her but to no avail, the camera pans to show Allie, unconscious, being watched by Stuart. Martin heads back into the screen and watches the film of Allie going into the bathroom a collapses that is playing on the screen, unfortunately for him, he thinks it’s a joke so tries to look through the projection window but is blinded by a light, this is when the footage on the screen changes to when they arrived, and them watching the film and he realises this is no longer a practical joke, and someone has been stalking them all evening.
He tries to play the big I am, but suddenly a set of instructions appear on the screen, telling him to smash his phone, and for a bit of added pressure, he is shown a video of Allie tied up, however he only pretends to smash his phone, that is until a knife appears by Allie’s face and he does what he is told. He is next told to go to seat H18, where he finds a gun hidden underneath with only one bullet, and he is told to ‘use it wisely’. Ultimately this will never end well because Stuart is watching his every move and is therefore always one step ahead.
Martin is a bit thick – who the hell runs at a door locked by a keypad? He also tries to use the force to reach the phone but when that fails, he just decides to smash the glass with a post – something he should have just done to start with – not that it makes a difference as the phone is dead. He then spots the weird pumpkin charm bracelet he gave Allie on the floor. Mr Manager is awake but is tied to the chair using the film reel and some useful cable ties – although his please for freedom are pretty pathetic but it made Stuart chuckle. Stuart tells Mr Managers that every horror film needs a victim, and has he is tied up with film that is being turned and is tightening around his neck, I think we can guess who the victim will be – or not, Stuart cuts him free just before he passes out.
Back to Martin who has started shouting at thin air, when a new message appears saying ‘Meet Me In The Foyer’, but guess who else is heading to the foyer – not Stuart but Clive, Mr Manager. Martin assumes Clive has killed Allie and is convinced he has trapped them, and then says who would give him a real gun- Stuart would hun, honestly he would. Trying to show some bravado, he fights with Clive – not after Stuart phones him to implicate him – and then end up in a tussle with Clive dead. Tbh I don’t think even Stuart can believe it, and Martin is now shitting himself cos he realised he killed the wrong man AND it's been filmed. Opening his wallet and seeing poor Clive’s wife just makes Martin worse and more determined to find Stuart.
Remember the locked door Martin tried to shoulder barge through – well the code appears on the computer screens – should make it easier to get through the door hun. Gutted, the next door has a padlock, but it’s okay this time he is using his feet to bust the fire exit door – this was NOT part of Stuart's plan as the alarm is going off meaning the police will be notified. Lucky for him he deals with it before it ruins his film! Martin finds Allie tied to a chair, but she is KO’d and won’t wake up, that’s when he noticed the camera filming her. Like a knight in shining armour, he carries her away, but not until Stuart makes an entrance and collects the camera, and he provokes Martin, telling him he didn’t kill anyone but Martin did, he just captured it. Martin tells him he is an old man with a shitty camera and Stuart is very offended by it, telling Martin he is going to make a horror film with real people and then starts listing films where the actors have died.
Martin, trying to call his bluff, asks how the film ends but Stuart seems stumped by the question and furious when Martin seems to have the upper hand. Allie is awake and asking for Martin – he is the one carrying you hun – as they make their way down the stairs. Back in his film room, Stuart is putting together his film using the footage he has already captured – mainly of Martin committing murder. He decides to try his hand at some voice over work, but I can’t say he is too convincing, but he seems happy with it.
Martin and Allie have made it back to the lobby but Allie doesn’t seem to remember anything and ends up back in the ladies throwing up. Martin goes to check he hasn’t disappeared again, when the shutters start to open, he is torn between waiting for her and trying to escape, when he says the worst words, you could every say in a horror film, ‘I’ll be right back’ – he is just asking for trouble. No, he is outside, and I know Allie is still inside but why wouldn’t you make a run for it and get the police and then come back for her. Allie is too slow, and they miss the shutters and their ability to escape.
Allie clearly has had her memory erased, and thinks this whole thing is a joke but Martin has a breakdown, and she is suddenly very confused. She finds dead Clive wallet and Martin has to admit that he has done a bad thing – Stuart is having a whale of a time doing his own voiceover of the couple’s argument. Martin tells Allie she was drugged and that’s why she can’t remember anything and she thinks he did it so runs to the bathroom and locks herself in. While looking in the mirror she notices her top and bra aren’t on properly and she is missing a button and assumes Martin has raped her. Stuart is quite happy with himself and makes an announcement over the tannoy, seeming to confirm Allie’s thoughts and tells her Martin also killed his friend but to stay where she is and the police are on the way. I mean Martin doesn’t help himself launching at the door like a pyscho, but Allie arms herself with a piece of broken mirror. Stuart arrives and hits Martin over the head with a fire extinguisher and tells Allie he is there to help her and has a place for them to stay safe.
Stuart and Allie head to the back office, but he tells her not to look at the counter because Clive is still in the popcorn, but as she gets through the door, she takes a look and seems more upset that Martin killed someone as opposed to the fact she is looking at a dead body. With a cheeky grin at the camera behind him, Stuart takes Allie upstairs where he tells her she is safe, and Martin can’t get to her – obviously not as he is unconscious. Allie is getting patched up by Stuart and is making small talk, but he is giving himself away but saying how much he hates being a popcorn man and reveals he has been watching them. Allie asks to watch the footage, and sees the moment Martin kills Clive, but she asks why she can’t hear anything – that’s because Stuart did his own little script for it. He tries to make her feel sorry for him by saying he could have done more, but both are unaware Martin is back on his feet and on the hunt for them again, using the blood from Allie’s hand.
Allie, seeing Martin is awake, asks Stuart if he has called the police which he confirms he has but says she can chase them up, but explains it's VERY important that she tells them he has a gun and has shot someone. In the lobby, the screens tell Martin to look in the top pocket of Clive’s jacket for a key as he will kill Allie in 10 minutes. On the phone to the police, Allie tells them about the gun, and they say they are on the way, but Stuart kills the power before the end of the call and blames in on Martin, saying I don’t know I’m not the killer when she asks why he plunged them into darkness. Downstairs, Martin is struggling with touching a dead body, but manages to grab the key. Stuart tells Allie they can’t escape; they need to stay where they are as they are safe. Turns out the key is for the lift Martin has been trying to access. Suddenly there is a bright light, and the police are cutting through the shutter doors to get in and Martin thinks they are saved. Allie is heading towards the lift, Stuart is watching her silently, and Martin decides he can’t wait for backup and heads into the lift, despite the
Po-Po arriving 0.2 seconds later.
Allie realises Martin is in the lift and tells Stuart they have to make a run for it. He grabs he keys and a few other bits but drops one of his cue cards with one of the film frames written on it. Martin catches up with them, but Allie has well and truly turned against him having seen the footage. Stuart tells her to head to the roof, leaving him alone with Martin, where he explains the last part of the movie to him and what will happen, and that he is the hero. Martin asks Stuart not to hurt Allie, but he reveals he has a gun, and we hear shots fired. Stuart fools everyone, and Martin is seen as the bad guy and Stuart the hero. Martin decides he can’t let Stuart win and tries to shoot him but is instead shot by the armed response unit despite having been told to hold their fire.
Back outside the cinema, Stuart is being questioned by the police and seems to be sticking to his script, and he seems to have gotten away with it as the police call him a hero. Checking the security footage, they see Martin killing Clive, but also realise he is taking to someone, an accomplice. Stuart goes to speak to Allie and tells them it is better Martin is dead than him, and Allie thanks him for saving her – oh hun you poor deluded girl. The police find the cue card on the floor, and a laptop with Stuart’s name on it. The police take the laptop back to Stuart and starts to question him about the film he is making, while the film shows Stuart watching his film behind one of the main screens, before Stuart begins planning his next film with a card saying – The Detective Is Framed.
I quite enjoyed this film, and the cast were great. Englund was particularly good; genuinely quite creepy throughout this film. To be fair he’s usually great in whatever he’s in! However, it did feel a bit flat in some places and nothing much really happened. Not sure if it’s one I would rush back to watch again.