Writer, director and actor Leigh Ormsby brings us an independent apocalyptic zombie horror set in Australia. An incredibly ambitious movie, it’s dark tone and gritty feel lifts it above many modern zombie horrors even if it does have some serious flaws.
The entire world has been devastated by a virus that reanimates the dead. It’s the zombie apocalypse and only Australia has remained unscathed. They’ve done this by initiating a no-nonsense border policy. New arrivals are checked for infection and dumped inside internment camps. Many of these places are collapsing under the weight of no proper law and order. When this happens, the army are sent in to restore peace.
One particular unit is sent in to deal with an uprising at one of the camps, the same camp that has seen some new arrivals. One of these arrivals, a French-speaking girl could see the downfall of the country though.
The Last Hope does really well for just how low-budget it is. Its style of filming feels significantly raw which fits the hopelessness of what is being shown. The extreme use of shaky camera work is initially frustrating and unsettling but as the movie goes on, you get used to it and it makes sense. It helps hide much of the low-budget issues and is reminiscent of the likes of 28 Days Later. In particular when we see hordes of zombies attacking.
There is a really strong sense of threat from this zombie virus. It spreads very quickly and before the army even have a chance, they are over-run. The mystery behind the girl and her arrival is never explained but it doesn’t take much thought to work out that she is carrier that can spread it even though she isn’t a zombie.
This plot-point is hardly original as 28 Weeks Later did a similar thing. Also as the film goes on you’ll notice many other moments that were clearly inspired by the rage virus movies. It’s not really a problem as The Last Hope has enough subtle differences to make it feel like its own film.
No, where The Last Hope really falls down is with the acting. There is a lot of bad acting in The Last Hope. Most of the dialogue comes across forced and emotional scenes are more awkward then heart-wrenching. With better acting, we’d be talking about an indie zombie classic but unfortunately, it’s so bad at times, it’s hard to take it seriously.
A real shame as the overall effort put in is admirable.
The Last Hope