On the flip side of that, I was wary of this movie, on my way into it, because it's a ghost story and a low-budget indie flick - two things that I often dislike. There was a very high likelihood that I would completely despise this movie.
I will admit though, to being pleasantly surprised to get an unusual and enjoyable ghost story from Last Kind Words (LKW).
LKW is essentially a Southern-set gothic tale with peaceful, meditative pacing that never rushes the viewer into anything. Sometimes, that slow burn is a beautiful building of anticipation and sometimes the filmmaker isn't skilled enough to give the audience a proper "pay off" at the end. In this case, the wait was worth the investment.
Many horror movies rely on a "twist ending" but very few actually try to subvert genre conventions and successfully deliver an enjoyable movie. It's not uncommon for a ghost story to try and incorporate elements of a love story and we all know that usually ends in a terribly unbelievable ending where, through some magic, the ghost is allowed to return to the land of the living and share their "second chance" life with their one, true, living love. If you don't get the Romeo And Juliet vibe from LKW, you've haven't read enough. Keep this classic drama in mind as the love story unfolds during the movie.
The cinematography is just lovely - it's a great looking (not cheap looking) movie with a lot of quiet, down-home, lonely, atmosphere that actually becomes a character, itself, in some ways. There's so much sad desperation in these quiet, run-down farmlands.
I was also impressed by the quality of acting in this movie - it's such a toss up with indie flicks... so many of them are just littered with crap acting. And then, throw in the mix that a large percentage of this cast was young and that potential for shitty acting just skyrockets.
And Brad Dourif. With such a varied genre career, he brings to the table so much "cheap horror clout" but, so often he's overlooked as an actual actor. I feel like Last Kind Words actually gave him some room to breathe and to stretch his, "acting muscles" - shall we say, not-creepily. The man started on the stage and has been in some truly amazing films - it's unfortunate that genre pieces really tend to skew how people feel about actors.
The $.25 wrap up on Last Kind Words: If you were to binge on ghost stories on Netflix, I'd suggest you add this one to the pile. Just make sure you skip The Innkeepers because it's a truly terrible movie. I'm still convinced that Ti West just punked the lot of us with that movie.
Watch the Last Kind Words trailer here: