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Review: CUFF horror movie homage The Last Matinee a fun, stylish, moody, creepy and gory good time

It would be charmingly meta if it wasn’t so fabulously nasty, ugly, horrifyingly claustrophobic, stylish, gory, fun, funny and creepy.

The Last Matinee (Al morir la matinée), is a Uruguayan retro, b-minus, serial killer neo-Giallo homage set, fittingly, in a — famed — and quiet Montevideo movie theatre in the ’90s on a dark and rainy night.

The setup is sensationally easy and unnecessary, the overall look stunning — beautifully lit and coloured — and the dark, creeping mood positively perfect.

Execution? killer. 

The film, from director Maxi Contenti, and starring Luciana Grasso, Ricardo IslasJulieta SpinelliFranco Duran and Pedro Duarte, is a closed-set killing spree, where the locked-in audience — the young projectionist filling in for her father; a couple on a first date; drunken teens; and a hiding child, among them — get dispatched one by one, or, sometimes two by two, by a killer with no backstory and no seeming purpose.

Well, none, that is, other than to carve filmgoers up and leave the corpses among the popcorn scattered through the aisles of the theatre as increasingly fewer audience members are left to take in a terrible Frankenstein horror film — real, apparently — before running for their lives.

It’s not a thinker. But it is a creeper, a squirmer, a jumper, a shocker and, ultimately, a pleaser.

The Last Matinee screens online as part of the Calgary Underground Film Festival until May 2. For more information please go to calgaryundergroundfilm.org.

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