April 20, 2018 Last Seen in Idaho (Movie Review)
Most people would give anything for a second chance to change a pivotal moment in their lives. Unfortunately, life does not work that way. But what if that was not the case? What if somehow the future can be seen, and horrible outcomes can be changed? From Writer Hallie Shepherd and Director Eric Colley, Breaking Glass Pictures presents Last Seen in Idaho, available on DVD and VOD as of Tuesday, April 24, 2018.
Summer (Hallie Shepherd: The Last Rescue 2015, Louisiana Caviar 2018) lives in Tacoma, Washington, and works at an auto body shop run by her boss, Dex (Eric Colley: The Last Rescue 2015, Louisiana Caviar 2018). Their most influential client is Clay (Richard Carmen: ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction 2009, The Hollow One 2015), the shady mayor of the city.
Bills are piling up, but Summer is too proud to take money from either Dex or her sister Trina (Alexis Monnie: This Moment short 2013, Low Tide short 2018) and her new boyfriend, Grady (Paul Proios: G.P.S. 2007, The Last Rescue 2015). While it seems that money will be the biggest issue she will have in her life, soon that all changes. A victim of the right place at the wrong time, Summer witnesses Brock (Casper Van Dien: Starship Troopers 1997, Con Man series) and her ex-boyfriend, Lance (Shawn Christian: Famous in Love series, Days of Our Lives series), commit a murder under the orders of the elusive crime boss, De Castro. As she desperately tries to flee from the scene, Brock ensures that she is in a terrible car accident that leaves her in a coma.
Once Summer wakes up she has no recollection of the events that placed her there. She does not understand why the cop, McNeely (Ted Rooney: Legally Blonde 2001, Gone 2012), is so interested in a simple car accident, and clearly he thinks she knows more than she is letting on. Brock and Lance think so, as well. They instruct the new guy, Franco (Wes Ramsey: Charmed series, General Hospital series), to get close to Summer, and take care of her if she ever lets on that she remembers anything.
While Summer does not remember the crash, it seems to have altered her greatly. She begins to have splitting headaches and sees images of things and events that have not taken place. All of those images point to her disappearing and ultimately dying somewhere in Idaho. She thinks that she is going crazy, while those around her think the episodes are merely after-effects of the coma. As the days go on, Summer realizes that she is not crazy but seeing glimpses into what the future may hold for her if she cannot find a way to change it.
Summer’s near-death experience has given her a gift that might allow her to save her life, but can she figure out how before it is too late? Will De Castro’s henchmen get to her before she can change her fate? Who exactly is De Castro anyway? Will Idaho be Summer’s final resting place no matter how much she tries to change her fate?
Last Seen in Idaho is a fascinating look at what could happen if the future, even a small but significant piece, is known. How many times would foresight help change the course of a person’s life? Knowing what will happen before it does could be both a blessing and a curse. In Summer’s case, she only seems to be able to see slices of the path that will lead to her destruction. Shepherd both wrote and starred in the film, and it is clear that she did her research and figured out the best way to show how sometimes near-death experiences can give people abilities that they would not have otherwise had.
The casting of the bad guys is flawless. Van Dien’s Brock is delightfully dark and intimidating; he does not say much, but he oozes with echoes of the many crimes he surely has committed. He comes across as a man who has done so many evil things that they are just as banal as brushing his teeth. Christian’s Lance is also a convincing criminal from head-to-toe. Though Lance is much more charismatic than Brock, it is clear he is not the type of guy anyone should mess with because consequences will surely be dire. In fact, Van Dien and Christian play their parts so well that there is no question, with or without her visions, Summer should be terrified of her association with them.
While the film’s premise is interesting, there is one glaring issue: the pacing throughout the middle of the film is extremely slow. Yes, a lot of things happen and all are important to the truly exciting conclusion; however, for some reason it just does not work. Interest in the plot remains, but it does feel sluggish and somehow forced. Ultimately, only the beginning and ending of the film move organically enough to be considered truly enjoyable. Pinpointing exactly why this is proves to be difficult, as the plot is solid, as are the acting and characters; the film just feels that it is missing that extra something that would have made it truly great.
Exploring fate and mortality is usually a fun ride. While Last Seen in Idaho has some rough edges, it still provides an experience that allows the viewer to wear Summer’s shoes, and truly think about what they would do if faced with the same gift. An interesting plot and great casting are the reasons that CrypticRock gives Last Seen in Idaho 3 out of 5 stars.