When four strangers are stranded at a train station they soon realize they have something most sinister and serendipitous about how they’d gotten there. Will their shared tales help them bond and find a way out or will they simply realize this may very well be their Last Stop?
Directed by: Geno McGahee
Starring: Chris Geoffrion, Leeann Aubuchon, Xoe Rose, Julian Lowenthal, Logan Lopez
This landmark journey into cinematic expose will mark the second endeavor I’d seen from director Geno McGahee. As a brief detour and back story about how I’d stumbled across this diamond in the rough I’ll share with you how Scary Tales: Last Stop was chartered to me.
The first film I was privy to and watched by director Geno McGahee was Rise of The Scarecrows and presented a corresponding review. No mistaking Rise of the Scarecrow was not the most shining silver screen contribution yet I’d given it a fair shake and accentuated each of the positive highlights. Suffice to say this ninety minute slice of havoc and mayhem will reside more comfortably in the annals of cult classics and yet it had its redeeming variables. In prior experience a lot of lesser men or women would have found the review a social injustice and screamed bloody murder. Mr. McGahee on the other hand had taken the liberty of contacting me, thanking me generously for the honest review and had offered some more contemporary releases for my screening pleasure. A class act all around in my books, I was more than overly enthusiastic to check out Scary Tales: Last Stop.
Easily one of the most rewarding elements of this racket we call being a critic is having the one of a kind experience in getting to see talented artists such as film makers, authors, actors and actresses come into their own within their craft. Mr. McGahee is certainly no exception as his stylistic prose and voice has dramatically flourished since Rise of The Scarecrows and I was honored to have opportunity to witness that.
Serious kudos goes to the director for this most innovative and thought provoking movie Scary Tales: Last Stop. Presented in the here and now between four diverse and dynamic personalities at a train station, the characters are riveting and performances are solid all around. Each shares a disturbing dream sequence they’d had the night before commuting to the train station. It doesn’t take long to empathize with the characters and invest into the darkest recesses of their minds. Xoe Rose in the role of young degenerate Lacy provides a particular noteworthy performance. She conveys an astute sense of varying emotion and I encourage horror fans to keep an eye on this talented young lady and predict tremendous success for her as a future budding scream queen. Chris Geoffrion plays Douglas, an uptight, old school conservative that the audience loves to hate. For the most part the conversational process, albeit controversial at times comes across as smooth and natural. We never really second guess the authenticity of the exchange between these characters. Some of his dialogue is among the most memorable in the picture and yet a small shred of himself comes out in retribution as the audience is witness to just how understood his jaded and cynical personality is depicted.
The premise of the dream sequences shown in anthology type format is easily the largest selling feature and will resonate among a wide demographic. It keeps the plot moving at a refreshing pace and hits close to home among each of us, being able to relate to disturbing content found in our dreams.
For comedic relief the station desk jockey steals the show. His general disdain towards Douglas will have the viewership cracking up and beginning for more.
Overall the soundtrack is original and caters to a varying pallet. Some hard core metal is thrown in and on the opposite side of the spectrum we’re engaged within the finesse and nuance of gentile, subtle orchestra inspired excerpts.
The special effects and make up are a little on the rough side yet it seems not to put a damper on the overall presentation and final product. In fact in some cases the rough exterior only manages to accentuate the creepiness of the chill scenes. The apparitions in Janice’s (LeeAnn Aubuchon) sequence are sure to inspire many a restless sleep. Ethereal, dark and disturbing masks contained within Douglas’s dream is skin crawling grandiose that could easily stand toe to toe with any major Hollywood Blockbuster scream feast.
No question about it Scary Tales: Last Stop will inspire many a conversational piece long after the final credits. It is with great thrill and vigor that I look forward to the next cinematic journey with one Geno McGahee.
-Three and a half out of five tombstones.