Movie Review: Last the Night (2022)
Synopsis: During the pandemic, high school history teacher, John Dunbar, attempts to educate his student via zoom while coping with a divorce and rage issues that have put his job at risk. Feeling burned out with his job and life, Dunbar's one bright spot is his student, Sadie, who he encourages to come out of her shell. However, when he overhears Sadie and three other students making fun of him, talking about getting him fired and breaking into the currently empty school for a game of paint ball, he decides to join them and soon trades his paintball gun for a real one.
Review: We're still under windchill advisories plus my wife was feeling exhausted after a long day of work so we watched a movie Friday night rather than going out. I had another one in mind but saw this one on Amazon Prime and thought it sounded interesting. After watching it, I can say it was an OK choice.
There were a couple things I liked about this film. One of the first ones was I liked the gradual way John (Green) went from frustrated teacher to killer. When he first shows up at the school, for example, it looked like he was just trying to re-live his youth and still try to bond with his students. It wasn't until they made it clear they didn't want him there that he really snapped.
I also thought the movie did a reasonable job with the students/victims. Most horror movies/thrillers hate teenagers and portray them as stupid and mean. This one isn't really an exception to that but does it to a much lesser extent. Their desire to do something to burn off steam seemed like something that made sense after going through the pandemic myself. Their dislike for John also made a lot of sense because they weren't wrong, some of what he said to Sadie (Taylor) in class was admittedly creepy, as did his decision to follow her on Instagram and send her text messages. In other words, while they were the final straw that drove him over the edge, I didn't think of them as the real villains in this movie (as would normally be the case).
I did think the movie had some parts that seemed to drag on a bit too much. For example, when the friends break into the school, they spend a whole lot of time drinking, talking and having sex. It felt more like The Breakfast Club than a thriller.
I also kind of wished they would have given more background about John, his rage issues and his obsession with guns. I assumed maybe he was a veteran with PTSD but that didn't seem to be the case and while his backstory did explain why he was frustrated with his profession, it didn't really explain some of those details. The movie, as I said, was OK without them. It might have been slightly better with them.
Final Opinion: It's not a great movie but has a fairly simple premise and just enough action to be entertaining. It's worth watching if you are stuck in the house because of the weather.
My Grade: B