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.
There are key themes included in Last Ferry that should offer the opportunity for the 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 a sense of foreboding or fear. Last Ferry’s script delivers little ingenuity in its genre but does have moments of humour, and attempts to explore themes of isolation and identity with a confused end result. Actors on screen do their best with the material on offer, but often come across as wooden and one dimensional in construction.
Filming does offer some unique opportunities to use the landscape and stark ‘out of season’ themes of Fire Island. While this is used to benefit the first 20 minutes of the film, it is sadly not maintained, opting for indoor locations for the majority of the action.
The films climax feels rushed, not allowing tension to build to a level where you care about the characters and their final moments on screen.
It is never easy making a film on a small budget, and Last Ferry try’s 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; lacking understanding of the genre it inhabits.
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.