Let’s hope renewed efforts to drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
don’t result in the outcome depicted in Fessenden’s 2006 horror movie…
From Gizmodo: “Underrated horror director Larry Fessenden’s best film to date is this chilling thriller about an environmentalist (James LeGros) who butts heads with the macho leader of an oil company (Ron Perlman) when he suggests that climate change may be compromising a lucrative plan to drill on a protected part of the Arctic. It gets worse when workers begin succumbing to poisonous natural gas emissions, but what at first seems like an explainable series of disasters gets spooky as hell when sinister apparitions—Earth’s ghosts, it seems, summoned to defend an angry, weary planet—begin meting out their own brand of supernatural frontier justice.”
THE LAST WINTER included among Fargo, The Shining, Misery
and more in Vulture’s 20 Essential Cold-Weather Thrillers list.
From Vulture: There’s perilously little separating Larry Fessenden’s environmental horror from the actual environmental horror playing out in the Arctic and Antarctic right now. The Last Winter is about a crew from an American oil company seeking reserves in an Arctic wildlife refuge, but in the process of testing the site, they unleash hallucinatory gases that have been under wraps for thousands of years. Set mostly in a base camp where tensions flare between a gung-ho company man (Ron Perlman) and a skeptical environmentalist (James Le Gros), the film is like The Thing without monsters, where weird storms and shifts in the wind portend a catastrophic change that engulfs the entire team. As they go, Fessenden implies, so goes the world.
See Full List HERE
TBT: 2005, Fessenden directs himself in THE LAST WINTER,
unspooling at the Great Western Catskills International Film Festival,
Saturday 10/20. Followed by a Q&A with Fessenden.
Join us this weekend at the Great Western Catskills International Film Festival,
hosted by GEP pals James Felix McKenney and Lisa Wisely.
Only A Switch
Q&A with director Michael Vincent
“All of this would seem to set Fessenden up as the ideal director for a horror movie about a topic that, for all its reeling apocalyptic sweep, is generally lived in the present through a series of picayune partisan skirmishes. The question is whether such a movie could in fact be made, and why there have been so few attempts. The most obvious reason why there have not been any good, scary movies about climate change also happens to be the most compelling: it’s just too fucking scary. The bigger studio features that have taken on the topic have been goofy both because they are bad, and because a less-goofy approach would make them something significantly darker than a big studio feature should be.“
Things start going very, very wrong for a group of Arctic oil drillers in Larry Fessenden’s cult thriller — but is it due to a natural causes… or supernatural ones? Inevitably, the survivors begin to turn on each other with increasing fervour as the Earth itself seems to start claiming lives, but intriguing characters (played by Ron Perlman, James LeGros, Connie Britton and others) and a unique plot make The Last Winter an especially effective terror-in-isolation tale.
The “ecological horror” sub-genre typically features animals on a rampage, but while we wait for John Skipp & Craig Spector’s brilliant novel The Bridge to get the adaptation it deserves this moody gem sits as the best example of the planet striking back. It’s Larry Fessenden‘s best film too delivering atmospheric chills, memorable visuals, and themes that feel relevant even as they leave viewers unsettled. All that plus James Le Gros, Ron Perlman, and Kevin Corrigan!