Friday, April 22, 2022

After Last Season


After Last Season
Mark Region

I am at a loss.

I honestly don’t know what to make of After Last Season. I can say with certainty that is very boring, very weird, and unwatchable in a way that lures you into a fugue state. It is the kind of film that if it had been released by Adult Swim, I would grasp what it is supposed to be doing but I am not given that gift of deliberate irony.

The plot, which is as mercurial as the rest of the movie, concerns a couple of interns at a company called Prorolis. Someone is murdering students and the other students use experimental brain chips to try and visualize the killer and stop them before they strike again.

The first and most striking thing about After Last Season is it’s look. Shot in what looks like an unfinished house, the sets, furniture, and props are often created from cardboard and/or covered in what appears to be large sheets of butcher paper. The effect does give everything a white sterile and completely artificial appearance. Every room feels sparse, the overwhelming whiteness of the imagery begins to wear on the eyes after just a few minutes.

The Ambien party kicks into high gear.

The acting from every single person is flat, no one shows much affectation even in the face of finding a dead body or trying out some kind of impressive technology. There are vast dead quiet spaces between lines. Inane dialogue about where to find a room, or a place someone visited a year ago go on at length. The film wastes time on the most banal improvised dialog that never sounds naturalistic.

The third element and maybe the most confounding of all are the lengthy CGI sequence which are meant to represent a technology that allows two people to share thoughts and generate images. The results are scenes of  what usually amount to blocks and shapes punctuated only by sparse dialog or random sounds of water that would have looked primitive in the 1990s much less 2009. These scenes go on for what seems like ages. They push past boring to become weirdly hypnotic. 

Clinical Depression 64

So, it really comes down to intention with this one. Were all these choices deliberate? Were they driven by a lack of resources or a dismissal of traditional storytelling? I honestly have no idea. If this quirkiness is on purpose the film never ever tips its hand and lets you know. If this is just the pure vision of Mark Region than I am eager to see more.

I can’t in any good faith recommend this movie for 99% of the movie going audience, it will be torturous. For the 1% of ultra weirdos. The kind of person who derives enjoyment from Science Crazed (1991) or legit thinks Things (1989) is a masterpiece in its own twisted way then this is a film you will appreciate. If you think something like Birdemic (2010) or The Room (2003) are the pinnacle of so bad it’s good outsider film, After Last Season could very well kill you stone dead.

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