Queer thriller and horror is underserved in filmmaking, often only covered in low budget, low quality porn/horror films.
Last Ferry therefore starts from a promising premise; a thriller first and foremost, that happens to have gay characters. Echoing Stranger by the Lake, Rear Window and What Lies Beneath, there is much to praise in the original vision.
Joseph is a disillusioned Manhattan lawyer searching for something new in his life. Ditching the stress of work we join Joseph as he visits out of season Fire Island, where events quickly spiral out of his control. Leading him to a group of gay men where secrets sit beneath the surface.
Some of the key themes inherent in Last Ferry should offer the opportunity for this film to shine. Not only as a thriller, but also as an exploration of the interface between work, pleasure and risk taking. However, in delivery Last Ferry is poorly directed with editing that feels rushed and incomplete. Adding little to any limited sense of foreboding or fear present. The script, showing some initial promise, with well placed humour alongside themes of isolation and identity in the LGBTQ community. Soon deteriorating; getting lost in its own confusion. The end result being a narrative that is neither horror, thriller or comedy.
Performances are often stilted and wooden, desperately trying to work with script and direction. But, ultimately coming across as one dimensional for the majority of the film.
Cinematography does offer some unique ideas, especially when using the stark ‘out of season’ themes of Fire Island. This benefit’s the first 20 minutes of the film, but is sadly not maintained. The remainder of the film opting for indoor locations that offer little to the films visual aesthetic.
It is never easy making a film on a small budget, and Last Ferry tries hard with the $50,000 budget it has. This is to be commended, and given more time in editing, it could have paid off. But its core problem comes from lacklustre direction and script that lack understanding of the genre it aims to inhabit.
Last Ferry carried real promise as a thriller, but a lack of solid direction, ingenuity and poor editing leaves a hollow film that offers little to either the LGBT or thriller genre.