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The Last Torment

Critic:

Jason Knight

|

Posted on:

2 Apr 2022

Film Reviews
The Last Torment
Directed by:
Gareth Repton
Written by:
Steven Deighan, Gareth Repton, Christopher Scanlan
Starring:
Christopher Scanlan, Niamh Houston
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A tormented boxer battles his inner demons while training in a gym.

 

A man (Scanlan) enters an empty boxing gym. He is all alone. While working on a punchbag, a sinister male voice speaks to him. The voice is coming from inside his head and it tells him that there is no hope for him. The man angrily defies that statement. He is torn apart by the death of his daughter, for which he is responsible as she died in a car crash that happened because he was driving while drunk. It becomes apparent that he did not go to the gym to train, but to face his personal torment once and for all.

 

This short dark psychological horror film is approximately five and a half minutes long and yet it packs quite a punch. The audience enters the mind of a man whose life is in shambles due to the loss of his child and for which he knows that he is to blame. In a way, he has come to the gym to fight, however his opponent is himself. He argues with the sinister voice before climbing into the ring and proceeds to get repeatedly struck by an invisible entity. The mood is rather bleak and distressing throughout, as the story paints a picture of the hell he is now living in as a result of his loss. As he is alone inside the gym, there is a feeling of isolation, that he has cut himself off from the rest of the world and is now living in his own hopeless place.

 

Scanlan's dynamic acting makes this viewing quite a roller-coaster ride. His performance is vital for the film to have a significant effect and he pulls that of perfectly. He is very convincing as an individual who is filled with self-hatred, anger, misery and guilt and one wonders whether there is salvation for him.

 

There are many brief falshbacks that provide clues regarding what led to the protagonist's current mental state. Flashbacks show him driving his car with his daughter in the passenger's seat on that fateful day and him in his home, with empty bottles on the floor and tablets in his hand. The addition of the flashbacks help reveal that he is a broken man.

 

Andrew Jay provides terrific cinematography that creates a dark and hopeless atmosphere and the creative lighting effects highlight the man's descent into despair. The music by Subin Karkani is dramatic and sinister and develops feelings of sadness and dread. Repton also worked on the editing and does a great job, with well executed match cuts.

 

This is a brutal and distressing story about grief, mental health, substance addiction and self-loathing. It paints the picture of a man who has fallen into an abyss. It is not a pleasant viewing, however it is powerful and memorable.

About the Film Critic
Jason Knight
Jason Knight
Short Film