DVD Review: Last Kind Words (2012)

17-year-old Eli (Spencer Daniels) and his family move to the Kentucky backwoods after the father (Clay Wilcox) loses his job. He decides to work on the secluded farm of a childhood friend and recluse (Brad Dourif). Upon exploring the woods near his new home, he meets a girl named Amanda (Alexia Fast) and feels an instant connection to her. His journeys also expose him to a dark secret the dead want restitution for from beyond the grave.

It’s always a treat when you put in a movie expecting nothing more than a one-dimensional horror yarn but you get so much more. Looking at the cover of Last Kind Words, you’d think it was just another typical angry ghost flick. Instead, Director / Screenwriter Kevin Barker and Storywriter Amy Riherd Miller fashioned a touching feature that takes a coming-of-age tale and gives it more depth by combining it with an old-fashioned Southern gothic ghost story. It keeps the viewer’s interest and slowly leads them to the answers to their own queries without losing any potency along the way.

The acting in independent or low-budget films can be questionable at times. That’s not the case with Last Kind Words. You can tell every actor in the movie was dedicated to the film and put their best foot forward. Brad Dourif completely embraces his role as the enigmatic hermit and landowner. Spencer Daniels commands every scene he’s in. You can see the emotional depth he invested in the role in his eyes. Alexia Fast is passionate as the character of the mysterious and tragic Amanda.

Last Kind Words is only available in a regular DVD format. Those looking for a high-definition experience will find this disappointing. While we’re addressing unsatisfactory elements of this release, I find it necessary to comment on the lack of special features. This is an independent movie made by filmmakers hungry to tell their stories. I refuse to believe that Director / Screenwriter Kevin Barker and Storywriter Amy Riherd Miller weren’t willing to do feature commentary or at least put together a short “Making of” featurette. 

I have a hard time using the term “horror movie” to describe Last Kind Words. There’s so much more to it than the usual jump scares we’re used to getting these days. While the film does provide adequate thrills and chills, they’re accompanied and spread throughout a grievous tale of isolationism, selfishness, loss, and the quest for closure.

Last Kind Words is available now on DVD and as a Digital Download.