The Last Horror Movie (2003)

"A break out at a maximum security prison and the slaying of a young waitress at a roadside diner mark the beginning of a brutal killing spree, but the identity of the killer and his true motivation remain a mystery until the films terrifying conclusion."

So states the blurb on the back of my video cassette of The Last Horror Movie, its Final Destination-style packaging promising little of interest to a connoisseur of British horror films. Firmly expecting a Long Time Dead style Yankee-Doodle balls-up of epic proportions, I was only slipping the tape into the VCR because the director (Julian Richards, I hope to God the man actually exists) had been pleasant enough to send me a copy. So, with a heavy heart and low expectations, I sat down and pressed play.

70-odd minutes later (it's a short film) I'm sitting in front of my PC and my hands are still shaking. The Last Horror Movie is that terrifying. It's the scariest British horror film ever made, I have no doubt about that. More spine chilling than Dead Of Night, more "check behind the sofa" than The Haunting. If I get any sleep tonight, I'll be very surprised.

You might be wondering how a film you've probably never heard of is eliciting such a response from this supposedly jaded reviewer. My only response can be that you have to rent it when it appears at your local Blockbuster, watch it alone, and then tell me if I'm wrong.

Yes, I say rent it - because I'd imagine that seeing such a film at the cinema would diminish its impact somewhat. This is quite possibly the first time a film has ever come out that requires a straight-to-video release. I'm not going to give any of the plot away, because really, everyone who watches this film should come into it completely fresh, as I did, without any preconceptions. But I'm sure that Julian will be pleased to read that I'd been happily (very happily, thinking I was watching the freshest and most innovative British horror film I'd seen in a long time) been making notes through the film - until the counter hit one hour and six minutes. Then my pen fell to the floor, the hairs stood up on my neck, and I became very aware that not only was I alone in the house, but that the back door was unlocked. It has been a long time since a film has had that effect on me.

The Last Horror Movie is wonderful - it's funny, brutal, clever, oh-so British and superbly 21st Century. You may not have heard of it yet, but you will. It is destined to become one of the greatest word of mouth horror films ever made. Bloody hell, I'm still shaking.

PS. When you've all seen it, I'll write up my notes and give it a proper, British Horror Films - style review. But I promise you, you must watch it. Before some oaf ruins it for you.

Last updated: February 24, 2010

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