The Last Resort (reviewed by Lisa Marie Bowman)

The Last Resort is a low-budget horror film from 2009 that tends to show up on Chiller a lot.  It’s a low-budget film about annoying people who, largely as the result of their own stupidity, get trapped in a really bad situation.  It’s a movie that many people dismiss but I’ve always found it to be a pretty effective little horror film.

In The Last Resort, Kathleen (played by Marissa Tait) is a bride-to-be who decides to go down to Mexico with her bridesmaids and have one last wild weekend for getting married.  They spend their first night in Mexico getting drunk and one of the bridesmaids, Sophia (America Olivio), leaves the group to spend the night with an American tourist named Rob (Nick Ballard).  The next morning, Kathleen and the three bridesmaids decide to take a tour of the countryside with two rather sleazy locals.  Sophia is left behind.

Not surprisingly, the two locals drive the group out to the middle of nowhere  and then rob them, seriously wounding one of the girls in the process.  Kathleen and her bridesmaids are abandoned to die in the desert but they manage to find a deserted resort where they take shelter for the night.  Unfortunately, it appears that the resort is also home to a murderous demon which proceeds to possess each of the girls, one after another.

The Last Resort has a really terrible reputation and if you happen to look it up on the imdb, you’ll come across a lot of negative comments about the film.  But you know what?  For what it is, The Last Resort is not that bad of a film.  The deserted resort is a genuinely menacing location and the director Brandon Nutt does a good job of maintaining an ominous atmosphere once the girls reach the location.  (Though it should also be admitted that it seems to take the film forever to reach that point.)

While the girls might not be memorable as individual characters, they are believable as a group.  You sincerely believe that they would not only all be friends but that they would also be the type of friends who, once they all get together, would end up spending a drunken weekend in Mexico and get stranded at a haunted resort.  In all honesty, one reason why this film resonated with me is because I’ve been on a few similar wild weekends myself.  Fortunately, neither me nor any of my friends were ever kidnapped at gunpoint but I do think that there were a few cases of demonic possession on some of those weekends.

Hey, it happens.

The Last Resort is one of those films that we tend to watch and go, “God, these people are so stupid,” but, to be honest, the stupider the characters act, the more strangely plausible a film like this feels.  The fact of the matter is that, at any given moment, 85% of the world is engaged in doing something stupid.  Smart people find themselves in stupid situations because, seriously, you don’t ever expect to find yourself being kidnapped or possessed until you already are.

That’s one reason why horror will always be a popular genre.  It’s one of the few genres that forces us to admit that, for the most part, we have no idea how vulnerable we are until it’s too late.  It’s easy to dismiss The Last Resort as being a film about stupid people making stupid decisions but, for me, it works precisely because it reminds us that we are capable of being just as stupid as the unfortunate bridesmaids in this film.

(Not surprisingly, the DVD cover art has absolutely nothing to do with the actual film.)

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