Last Ride (2011)

James and his friends set out on a biking trip through the woods, but none of them make it back alive. All that is left is the video taken from James' helmet cam, detailing the last few hours before their grisly deaths. What is watching and waiting in the woods of Australia? You will have to wait and see! In the wake of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, REC, CLOVERFIELD, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, and countless others, the "found footage" film seems to have lost its steam. Independent filmmakers like Dominic Perez and now James Phillips look to change that.

LAST RIDE is shot in one single take. The camera is unflinching as we ride right alongside the characters and experience their terror firsthand as the events occur. Phillips has strategically planned out the location in meticulous detail to have the paths of the characters and creatures constantly cross over several miles of rugged terrain. He does so without ever destroying the illusion by accidentally revealing the place markers, an impressive feat considering the amount of land that is covered. LAST RIDE keeps the audience watching: What was that noise? Did I just see something behind those bushes? James' bite sure seems to be getting worse... Outside of a few logical inconsistencies (why don't the characters ever arm themselves?), LAST RIDE suffers worst from the same ironic fate as many other films of its kind. By maintaining the integrity of the "found footage" format, it lends strength and authenticity to the events, but the pace, characterization, and plot ultimately suffer as a result. Does it look and feel genuine? Sure. But the dizzying camerawork and overall lack of action will work against its popularity with mainstream Horror fans. On the other hand, those who enjoy this particular form of filmmaking should be able to appreciate the high-concept behind its creation.

Rating: 6/10.

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