After exploding onto the horror scene with Orphan, it seemed we had a new rising star in child actor Isabelle Fuhrman. She perfectly pulled off a performance as a seemingly innocent child with sinister intent behind those eyes. Alas, minus a few big profile movies here and there, she mostly stuck to indie and short films. Quickly forgoing the route us horror fans thought she would take. But it appears 2022 will be a kind year for us. Fuhrman has two big horror projects coming out with one being the prequel to her breakout role in Orphan: First Kill. The other being this Shudder exclusive, The Last Thing Mary Saw. After watching the latter this past snowy weekend, let’s hope the former is a whole lot better. It definitely doesn’t have to try very hard.
I want to start by saying how good both Fuhrman and her co-star, Stefanie Scott, are as the lesbian lovers who must keep their affair secret from the prying eyes of family members in the house. Keep in mind this film takes place in 1843, so that plotline alone can be horrifying to watch play out. And when the film does play into the horrendous things the family is willing to do to their own daughter and the maid, it makes for a truly terrifying film. But the problem is, this film has little interest in truly exploring this storyline. Or any of the storylines it introduces for that matter. The Last Thing Mary Saw is the definition of a film which throws everything it can at the audience, but never bothers to properly explore them. The grandma of this family might be a demon. Or not. Film doesn’t care to tell. Rory Culkin pops up as a mysterious stranger and that also goes nowhere. Even the central relationship between the two leads is woefully never explored beyond a superficial glance. It also doesn’t help the cinematography does little favors by making several scenes hard to see.
I had hope for this thanks to the news of Isabelle Fuhrman as one of the two leads. It’s nice to see her again, especially in the horror genre. But this film does her, and everybody else involved, zero favors. Most of the time was spent trying to see and figure out what the hell the story was attempting to tell me.