Directed by Josh Hodgins and starring Vanessa Leigh, Ryan O’Quinn and Christopher Atkins, One Remains is a movie of moments. A better and more coherent plot and we’d be talking a lot more positively about the overall product sadly.
The basic plot outline sees a group of young film-makers go to a remote cabin in the woods to interview an elderly man. Before dementia took over his mind he was a park ranger who had an unfortunate discovery.
The group learn this during one of the man’s more lucid moments as he tells them of the mutilated bodies he discovered at a camp. Against his son’s wishes he reveals to the film-makers that he actually documented what he found on tape.
As he shows them what is on the tape he begins to forget where he is and after freaking out, is taken away. The group decide to continue watching but the tape now shows themselves being killed in a variety of ways. Naturally, they freak out with most in denial about what they saw.
However, the tape begins to affect them all mentally. Then they discover their hosts know more then they were letting on.
One Remains is not an easy film to watch. Simply put, the story is a bit of a mess and it falls at the feet of the script writers and editors. The former was trying to tell a smart and mentally challenging story but mixed in too much slasher stuff while the latter cut and chopped the movie into pieces. Most notably in the final third where things just go off the rails too much.
However, that doesn’t make it a bad movie at all. The acting is decent throughout and the mystery is intriguing. When the situation really turns bad, the gore is ramped up for some pretty graphic scenes. These are the moments mentioned at the start, stuff that stays with you afterwards.
The problem is all of this stuff comes at the same time and very quickly. Then suddenly and really abruptly the movie just ends. It has a stinger for the final scene but it still feels very rushed. Even more so considering how slow the first hour is.
In fact, the only notable thing about the first hour is a lengthy titillation scene as two female characters get hot and heavy with each other. Fine, if that’s what you want in your horror but it does seem to go on and on and on.
It’s ultimately a miss as a movie simply because of the poorly told story, rushed latter half and iffy editing.