The Horror Zine Review
A Film by Ty Jones
Director: Ty Jones
A Film by Ty Jones
Review by James Potter
Last Breath opens with a series of dark, confusing, and disturbing shots of a derelict yelling and arguing with himself. Immediately engaging, there was no time to relax or to get comfortable. I knew that this film was going to take me on a strange, disturbing and unique journey. This opening sequence sets the entire premise for the film without revealing anything to come, and I found it masterful.
Michael Johnson (Ty Jones) and Tina Johnson (Mandy Bannon) are the parents of a child named Caleb (Alex Neustaedter) who, through the self-pitying and narcissistic nature of his parents, is becoming emotionally isolated.
We learn that the father, Michael, constantly has to deal with the emotional abuse inflicted by his own father through a continual barrage of criticism of his self-worth. At the same time, Tina is dealing with physical abuse that was inflicted upon her by her mother throughout her childhood. It becomes evident that the two of them were attracted to each other because of their similar backgrounds of abuse.
Instead of supporting each other to help grow beyond their childhood experiences, Michael and Tina continued feeling sorry for themselves, which perpetuates a continual downward spiral. Eventually Michael has an affair with a woman at work and Tina turns to drinking in an attempt to bury her pain of rejection by her mother.
Through his construction business, Michael buys a large, abandoned factory building. Tina, suspecting Michael is having an affair, insists on going with him to see the building he has bought in the hopes that it will somehow bring them closer together.
This is where the fun begins. Upon entering the building, Michael and Tina become trapped and what started out as a desperate attempt to fix the pains of their past becomes a journey into a world of terror and torture.
A dark and shadowy figure slowly begins to make himself known. A series of bizarre and confusing events unfolds, inflicting untold pain upon them. The dark figure prods and questions them about who they really are, becoming more violent. Michael and Tina watch in helpless terror as the other is savagely tortured.
Last Breath is an absorbing, bold, and daring approach to the thriller genre. I found myself pulled, at every turn, to question where this experience was taking me.
The cinematography (Jeremy Osbern) was excellent. He created images within images that added subtle visuals to scenes which kept the story moving forward and at the same time letting you know of things to come.
The acting was convincing and professional. Mandy Bannon had me totally engaged with her character, feeling the pain and sense of never having been loved, resulting in her lost childhood. As the film progresses, Ty Jones had me feeling sympathy for his character. The dark figure (Aaron Laue) I found especially riveting. While he comes off at first as psychologically disturbed, as the film progresses, you begin to discover that there is a rational reasoning to his methods and what started out as a character appearing insane begins to reveal himself as someone in true pain.
This film is so powerful that I recommend this film to anyone looking for a true thriller movie. It delivers all the way to the last breath.
Buy the movie HERE
About the Filmmaker
Ty Jones erupted from the womb ready to be a filmmaker. He's been writing since he was seven, but once he started making films, he knew he had discovered the purpose for his volcanic imagination.
Ten years ago, Ty picked up an 8mm camera and shot his first film. Since then, he has studied with the Hollywood Film Institute in Chicago and in Los Angeles with Dov Simmons, who also helped Spike Lee and Quentin Tarantino begin their careers. Over the last 10 years, Ty has directed almost 40 short films, some of which have played around the world at film festivals. He has also worked on over 200 projects, such as commercials for NASCAR and Sprint and national television programs.
Ty has held most positions in the film industry, ranging from DP to Assistant Director to Best Boy. You name it (outside of make-up) and Ty has probably done it. Because Ty has learned the technical aspects of filmmaking in all genres, he knows well how to express his creativity in a way that touches a person's emotional core, excites the viewer, and makes the audience laugh. Ty knows how to tell a story.
Ty has also studied ferociously the craft of acting for the last eight years. His studies have enabled him to better communicate as a director with his actors to get their best performances. After working with Ty, Jeff Burr, a respected filmmaker with over 20 feature credits to his name, asked Ty to come to Los Angeles (LA) to work on Jeff's latest feature, "The Devil's Den."
In 2005, Ty moved to LA and worked on numerous features, learning the ins and outs of Hollywood and the film industry. Ty returned to Kansas City to shoot his first feature film, "Last Breath." Ty's desire for his first feature is that the experience will resonate with viewers long after they leave the theater. He is now on to his second feature film to be shot in 2013.
Learn more about Ty HERE
About the Reviewer
James Potter grew up reading comic books which was his introduction to the possibility of making a living doing commercial art. A few years later he came across a copy of Robert E. Howard's book "Conan the Conqueror" which had a cover painting by Frank Frazetta, and that was his introduction to fantasy art.
James majored in commercial art and worked for a number of years as an art director in advertising where he did my own layouts and story boards. A few years ago he purchased the director's cut of Ridley Scott's masterpiece Blade Runner which inspired him to begin thinking about doing Sci-Fi and fantasy art as a full time career.
He works in traditional oil paint, mostly on board, sometimes on canvas. He now paints sci-fi/ fantasy /horror full time. He believes that these genres allow artists to freely express their thoughts without limitations.
You can visit James HERE