HK and Cult Film News's Fan Box

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

LAST SEEN IN IDAHO -- Movie Review by Porfle

LAST SEEN IN IDAHO (2018) starts off with a shocking double murder--"shocking" mainly because of how utterly, blandly casual it is for the jaded hitman Brock, as performed by Casper Van Dien (STARSHIP TROOPERS, TURBULENT SKIES, LAKE EFFECTS) in full reptilian mode.

This is the kind of guy Summer (screenplay writer Hallie Shepherd) will have to deal with after she witnesses another murder in the auto garage where she works, this time involving not only Brock but her weak-willed boss Dex (Eric Colley), her vile ex-husband Lance (Shawn Christian), and a mysterious crime boss who runs everything, including city government, from behind the scenes.

In this tense opening sequence Summer crashes her car trying to escape and wakes up from a coma in the hospital, watched over by her ditzy sister Trina (Alexis Monnie), who's indirectly involved since one of the bad guys has become her sugar daddy. 

As her head injury heals, Summer struggles to regain her memory of the event as she begins having visions of things to come--including her kidnapping and murder. 

This first part of LAST SEEN IN IDAHO mixes elements of Stephen King's THE DEAD ZONE with the feel of one of those Dean Koontz novels in which a strong female character faces some kind of unspeakable evil. 

The action and thriller genres are also well represented as Summer's perilous dealings with the bad guys--who want her dead before her memory returns--yield several exceedingly tense suspense sequences. 

This is further complicated when one of them, a handsome rogue named Franco (Wes Ramsey) for whom she forms romantic feelings, claims to be an undercover cop who's on her side.  Needless to say, we're just as dubious as she is.

Hallie Shepherd has written a great lead role for herself and acquits it very well, with a supporting cast that's also first-rate. (Casper Van Dien is one of the scariest villains of recent years.)  Direction by Eric Colley (THE LAST RESCUE, G.P.S.) is seamlessly good. 

The suspense begins early, builds ever so gradually, and, by the final third of the film, is a constant factor in keeping the viewer in a state of tension. 

By that time the action and excitement are almost non-stop as Hallie bounces back and forth between various forms of grave peril (at times the film resembles an edited-down feature version of a serial by way of modern film noir). 

Finally both she and sister Trina end up in the bad guys' clutches (fulfilling Summer's "kidnapping" prophecy), lighting the fuse on a violent finale that's guaranteed to put the viewer through the wringer. 

I was in the mood for something exciting, suspenseful, and smart when I sat down to give LAST SEEN IN IDAHO a watch, and it came through with flying colors. This is the kind of fine, low-budget indy filmmaking that compels you to sit up on the edge of your seat and pay attention.  

Release Date: April 24, 2018 - DVD/VOD

Watch the Trailer:


No comments: