The Last Stop (2000)
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We have a set of "typical-stereotype" characters here, but if you expect that, then you can enjoy the characters to their full potential. Callum Keith Rennie has a small role, but as usual is quite phenomenal on screen, capturing your eye at all times. Winston Rekert is a good actor too in this dark film. The location and sets are brilliant and the imagery is interesting and different. But as for the story line, it is reasonably un-original, but it does hold your interest from begining to finish. The only downer is Rose McGowan's performance which can only be said to be a little "wooden" but perhaps this is what she intended for her character. Who knows. All I know, is that I did enjoy this film with the "who done it" theme and interesting quirky characters. Not half bad :)
The movie itself is the usual 'lots of bad people trapped in a snow storm together' storyline, but it did have a couple of twists that kept me guessing. The characterizations were strong and the whole cast performed fairly well. The only problems I had with the cast was Rose McGowan. She was so cold throughout the movie that we didn't get any idea of her character's personality or motivations. Other than her and a few small problems with continuity, this was a well-written, well acted thriller.
"The Last Stop" has some mystery, some interesting characters, some good acting, some growling white wolves, and a huge amount of snow.
The same night I saw this movie, I watched "The Skulls," a big studio production. "The Last Stop" was far more suspenseful.
During an extreme blizzard, state trooper Jason (Adam Beach) battles through the snow to reach a remote lodge in the Colorado Mountains. His task is to inform the guests that the road is closed and they must stay for at least one more night until a path can be cleared through the hazardous conditions. This news doesn't go down to well with the suspicious bunch, which includes two troublemaking brothers (Callum Keith Rennie and Peter Flemming), a truck driver that really doesn't want to hang around (William S. Taylor), a randy couple of lovers (Winston Rekert and Amy Adamson) and Jason's ex-girlfriend Nancy (Rose McGowan). The motel owners (Jurgen Prochnow and P. Lynn Johnson) aren't overjoyed by the news either, but they offer rooms to the stranded guests and attempt to calm the tense situation. Things take a turn for the worse when Jason finds a mutilated body and a bag full of stolen cash lying in the snow behind the cafe. Just like a chapter out of an Agatha Christie mystery, the lodgers begin dieing at the hands of a masked assailant that seems intent to re-claim the money. With so many dodgy characters to choose from and no way of leaving the crime scene, Jason has to attempt to stop the maniac before he kills again
A good mystery needs at least a handful of shady suspects who each have a credible motive, a remote location that no one can escape from and a smart protagonist to help unravel the clues. Fortunately The Last Stop provides each of those essential ingredients in a thriller that has its equal moments of brilliance and downright stupidity. The film kicks off superbly as the dubious personalities clash in a claustrophobic environment that manages to keep the tension running high throughout the runtime. Malone keeps the interest levels raised as each character unveils their own reasons to attract some of the suspicion, and to be fair the essential twist isn't one that you'll guess easily. In fact I found myself watching the movie through once again to see if I could pick up on any hints that I missed first time around. Unfortunately when the maniac is revealed to be an over the top psycho that wisecracks like a comic book bad guy, The Last Stop forfeits a huge amount of credibility. Thankfully all is not lost when an unexpected and brilliantly orchestrated plot twist salvages the film's finale.
Similarities can be drawn with the excellent Identity, as the two plots are almost interchangeable. James Mangold's effort has to be the better of the two mainly because of the star billing of John Cusack and the ever-reliable Ray Liotta. With that said though Adam Beach does a good enough job in the lead, while Jurgen Prochnow, Amy Adamson and the brilliant Callum Keith Rennie add some credible support. Rose McGowan acts as conceitedly in this role as she probably does from day to day in reality and Winston Rekert started fantastically before going completely overboard with the film's climax. If you're a die-hard slasher fan that's watching this for some bloody killings then you're going to be disappointed. The balaclava-wearing psychopath only pops up once and the rest of the murders are committed off-screen. But as I said earlier Malone's directorial talent means that the suspense is never too far off the boil and you can forgive the few flaws because the positives just about triumph.
The Last Stop is well worth a look for slasher addicts and movie fans alike. Yes there are a handful of negatives, but overall this is a solid example of emerging Hollywood talents. If you liked Identity then certainly give this a try
"The Last Stop" could be an average thriller, but the screenplay is simply awful. Most of the characters are despicable persons and the motives of the surprising serial killer are never disclosed, and the viewers have no further explanation why the killer decided to kill the guests. My vote is four.
Title (Brazil): "Encurralados" ("Trapped")
When a winter storm comes on strong and forces the local police to close all the roads in the area, the guests at a Colorado restaurant/inn are trapped for the night. Little do they know, a team of bank robbers is among them, having planned to rejoin at this very inn after their crime to settle up. A double crosser makes a bad situation worse and people who have seen or know too much start dying. Who's the killer? Very nice mystery. Well-written and suspenseful.
The film has great action also. The mystery is pretty hard to figure out and Rose [McGowan] does some "Oscar-worthy" acting towards the end of the film, but I don't want to give anything away. Adam Beach and Jurgen Prochnow are also great in the movie, along with some of the other stars.
If you like mysteries, or action movies, or just like Rose...I totally think you would like this movie.
I'm a big horror movie fan, and yes, I love the Scream trilogy as well. So when I found out that Rose McGowan was doing a Ten Little Indians type of movie I knew that I was in for a treat. Rose McGowan was the biggest name actor/actress at the entire festival.
The best way I can describe it without giving away too much of the plot is that it's not quite like Scream. And it certainly is worth seeing. It's set in the middle of a snowstorm (it was filmed in Vancouver, B.C., Canada) at a mountaintop motel, which adds to the suspense. Rose McGowan puts in a great performance as the-girl-next-door(?!) along with the rest of the cast. And as for what happens at the end, well, the only thing I'll say is that you'll never guess the ending.
Sadly, it probably won't make it into mainstream North American theatres because the only decent money maker in it is Rose McGowan. But if you get the chance to see it I would recommend you do. And if worse comes to worst, there's always video.
I gave it a 9 out of 10.
Count me as the fifth. Rose is a pleasure to watch in everything she does! The movie itself wasn't much to write home about. Some posters complained that nobody in the production had any idea what a snowstorm was. During the scene when they were attending to the injured Adam Beach character (who was shot and bleeding) all I could think about was ... close the door, it's freezing cold outside!
Rose has a couple of good scenes in the film - one of them in which she has an entire dialog with herself completely wordlessly, but we know exactly what she's thinking - this demonstrates that she has talent (as do some of her better films such as Jawbreaker, Scream, Devil in the Flesh). If she can get some better scripts, she'll go far.
DVD Note: For Rose McGowan fans, Rose's interview on the "The Last Stop" DVD is worth the price of renting/buying the DVD, even if you hate the movie.
Perhaps my rating is a bit harsh, but one viewing will certainly be enough for the sane cinemaphile with nothing else to do.
The only true highlights were Adam Beach and Jürgen Prochnow, who were once again their excellent selves. Nice try with an inappropriate last third, though a good ending.
The acting is just down right horrible, half of the characters are just fill ins added for supposed suspense purposes and none of them have any knowledge about snow. The main character, who we are led to believe has lived in Colorado his whole life, spends the majority of the movie outside, in a blizzard, WITHOUT A HAT including a ride on a snowmachine. Now, anyone who has lived, or even been involved in any type of snow related incident, knows that you can not survive outside without proper attire. Proper attire being a hat. Obiviously, the staff of this movie has never heard of hypothermia. And to take off at top speed on a snowmobile without proper head gear? The only one who does where a hat, is the mentally handicapped character. Tell you something.
The director then creates the main character as being superhuman. He gets shot,(to me it looked like in the ass) gets hit by a snowmachine, the whole hat fiasco and at the end gets told, "You'll be fine in a couple of days."
Granted, this movie did have me guessing but my guesses were of the intelligent nature. It will leave you asking questions till the end but then make you question just why you bothered to watch this in the first place. If there's one thing I remember learning in highschool drama it's don't insult the intelligence of your audience. Something people involved with this picture never bothered to learn.