THE LAST SCOUT almost slipped right under my radar. I first heard about it when the trailer dropped a couple of days before it hit VOD, which is odd because Epic Pictures are usually very good at getting the word out concerning their releases. Until I got the email saying the trailer was out I hadn’t heard anything at all about the film, and that’s a shame because this is a well done science fiction thriller.
The film’s PR sums the plot up quite well “2065…With Earth rendered uninhabitable by war, humanity’s remaining survivors send a fleet of ships to different points in the galaxy in the hope of finding a new world. After seven years of travel and long since out of communication range, the crew of The Pegasus are nearing their destination when they encounter a derelict ship. As tensions on board rise and they struggle to complete their mission they soon realize that they are not alone and must fight for their survival- and the survival of the human race.”
Starting as a more standard space film before moving into horror territory once a Chinese ship is found, THE LAST SCOUT is a film with a lot to say about humans as a species. Thankfully avoiding the politics behind the war itself, the script concentrates on the crew’s responses to fear, loneliness, and current unrelenting stress. In some ways, it’s a more serious take on the John Carpenter’s first film, DARK STAR in that regard. I don’t think I’m giving much away when I say the derelict ship isn’t as empty as it first seems, and finding it’s occupant raises a whole different set of fears.
The cast carries the human aspect of the film quite well. Director Simon Phillips (GHENNA: WHERE DEATH LIVES) is best known as an actor and turns in a great performance as Pete, the most sympathetic member of the crew, Blaine Gray (EVIDENCE) also rises above expectations as the ship’s captain. The film’s effects are also a lot better than one would expect from a film of this budget. Apart from a ship’s bridge that looks like it came from a Tom Baker era episode of DR WHO I was very impressed. This is much better looking than the average DTV film with badly rendered CGI ships, I actually couldn’t tell if they were models or CGI.
THE LAST SCOUT is a little long at an hour and forty-seven minutes, but overall is an enjoyably dark and suspenseful film. It’s currently available as a digital download and on VOD from Epic Films.