Friday, October 26, 2012

The Last Wave

An Australian lawyer begins working a mysterious case involving a murder possibly committed by a group of urban-dwelling aborigines. He begins having bizarre, apocalyptic dreams that seem to tie in with the case and the tribe. But what do they mean, and how much to the defendants know about it?

Peter Weir's follow up to the great Picnic at Hanging Rock is a similarly mood heavy drama/horror/art film that pits man up against the unfathomable depths of Mother Nature. Weir once again captures that implacable feeling of existential dread, that we live in a world of terrifying, inexplicable mysteries. Someone should convince this guy to do a Lovecraft adaptation some day.

The Last Wave plays it a little less ambiguous than Picnic, probably for the worse. Although not everything is explained, exactly, there are some answers here, and it maybe steals away a little bit of the impact of the otherwise perfect, inevitable ending. Picnic stays with you long after it's over because it never quite releases its tension; Wave ends spectacularly but definitively, and that sense of resolution will at least help you sleep better at night.

Not that this is a bad film; far from it. It's actually quite awesome. For fans of deliberately paced, imagery driven horror films (with enough skill not to skimp on the story and character development), this is a must see.

Rating: B+

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