Final 83 Minutes of Life for The Viewers.
Sidste Time (1995) (R)
Director: Martin Schmidt
I rarely watch movies on TV. It’s because I can’t stand these commercial breaks every ten minutes. But, while this movie was telecast, there was hardly any. After watching the film, I knew why. The film is an 83 minute claustrophobic thriller. Having used the term ‘Claustrophobia’ I must confess it doesn’t take place wholly in a single place, but moves on to different locations. Locations like rooms in a school, a TV studio and a ventilation shaft. Time and again, we seem to be so much influenced by TV that we prefer using TV shows as the base of the movie. For example, 13B is an Indian film which seems to have ripped off a few scenes from Sidste Time uses a specific TV soap as the setting of its base. All they watch on TV happens in their lives. Somewhere, the protagonist identifies the broken link and solves the mystery. But, I agree that there were a lot of unnecessary gimmicks in 13B. But, Sidste Time, a Danish (Denmark) film fills you with enough thrills to keep you glued to the screen. It is thrilling that we have seen many movies in the same treatment but we fail to notice that it is not what it usually is in the end. Take 13B for example again, the protagonist solves the mystery, finds the killer and kills him. Here in Sidste Time, the seven students serving late detention in high school are killed by a Frankenstein-like guy who is initially found dead in the first scene a la Saw!
Feel the thrill don’t you? The story opens with a TV reporter, Micky Holm making up a plot for his show ‘Sidste Time’ and then goes to a high school with his cameraman. There has been a murder and the news is that the murderer is still inside school where seven students are taking a late detention in the biology lab. Well, that’s one scary place for detention. Desperate to find a life as an actor, we have the seven actors – Lene Laub Oksen, Mette Bratlan, Tomas Villum Jensen, Karl Bille, Rikki Louise Andersson, Laura Drasbaek and Ken Vedsegaard. These seven actors in probably their first or second film try their best with what seems to be a thrilling movie powered by supernatural instinct. It all seems like some unbearable circumstance that we’re watching. In fact, Martin Schmidt is trapping us inside the idiot box once he stimulates our senses.
The film was worth watching till the climax. The climax is where everything went haphazard. We get to know in the first scene that Micky Holm has a special power and in the climax scene we are told again that he has a special power. Man creates technology, technology creates psychopaths and psychopaths create newer technology leading to where it all began. Perhaps, the letdown in the film can be the climax. But, due to a few other scenes in the film, everyone may need to know about the climax. The climax is such a horror. We see films where the hero is pulled into every odd and finally ends up alive and healthy. Later, the trend of shutting down heroism and bringing in realism was introduced. Bet my butt, realism never existed. We saw over realism. That’s what monster films and thrillers in Hollywood are doing. A group of people are shown in the first scene. Slowly, one by one keeps dying and finally the last person to die will have his name first in the credits as he was there through the movie. If you ask me, I won’t recommend it to anyone but those who want to be ‘great’ directors like J.J. Abrahams, Michael Bay etc.
Supernaturalism cannot control electricity. Supernaturalism is something that exists and electricity is something that has been created. The film sucks at that point but it is the thrills that keep you watching. This film was made in 1995 and that will surprise you for its good technical aspects. Looks like Danish films are well off-screen rather than onscreen.
Sidste Time (Final Hour) is a gruesome thriller with loose ends. The film isn’t that bad to be watched one. But, you have to risk 83 precious minutes to watch it. Have fun!