The Last Winter. 2006. USA/Iceland. Directed by Larry Fessenden. Screenplay by Fessenden, Robert Leaver. With Ron Pearlman, James Le Gros, Connie Britton, Kevin Corrigan, Jamie Herrold. 35mm. Courtesy IFC Films. 101 min.
Guillermo Del Toro has called Larry Fessenden “one of the most original voices to emerge in the horror field, and The Last Winter is his most accomplished work to date. He brings the Gothic trappings of the old classics to shocking new life.” Fessenden conceals his alarming and farsighted vision of global warming within a tale of horror and mystery worthy of Melville or Poe. When an American oil company sends an advance team to set up a drilling site in the brutally unforgiving Northern Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, inexplicable madness and death follow closely behind. In 2006, The Last Winter appeared on more than a dozen critics’ Best of the Year lists, and at the end of the day—or in this case, imminent global mass extinction at the End of Days—it will endure as a monumental indictment of human folly.