If I’ve learned nothing else from an entire month of posting only lists, it’s that a theme can get really boring really fast. I briefly considered doing something all cute and clever like that for October. You know, Shocktober, or more appropriately given my particular proclivities, Schlocktober.
Or to be even more niche, Frocktober (nun/priest horror), Croctober (crocs & gators), Mocktober (horror mockumentaries), Doctober (mad doctors/scientists), even Proctober. Sadly I can only think of three movies off the top of my head that would fit into a category I can only refer to as butthole horror. I suppose there are folks out there who’d say “Wait. There are that many?!” but I’m fairly certain only one of them reads this blog.
As you can see, the long winter nights just fly by around here. In any case, I decided since pretty much everyone jumps on this Octobery/Halloweeny kinda bandwagon, I’d just go ahead and keep doin’ my usual thang.
Along those lines, with no particular Octo fanfare, let’s have a look at something I stumbled across by accident a few nights ago. Mere days ago, I fairly well savaged Documenting The Witch Path. Well, I watched it on Tubi (which, incidentally, is kicking a lot of streaming services’ asses in terms of horror selection). Once that fiasco was over, there was the usual list of “similar” titles, and that’s how I found One Remains.
I figured “Eh. I gotta do something to remove the stain of what I just saw. What the hell?” So I went in blind. Now…if you’ve ever found yourself staring at the ceiling and unable to sleep because of nagging questions like “What ever happened to Christopher Atkins from Blue Lagoon?” well, fret no longer. One Remains is your answer. The movie starts off with him (as a character named Samuel) being interviewed by a documentary film crew.
He tells this crew the story how he, as a park ranger, came across the scene of a mass murder. The victims were scattered around a campsite. Many had highly unusual injuries and unexplained internal bleeding. It was never determined whether or not these injuries were self-inflicted (and yes, there are references made later to Dyatlov Pass).
From there, we apparently flash back to a different film crew arriving at Samuel’s cabin complex to start shooting their documentary about this incident. They’re greeted by Samuel’s son Lance. We meet the director, Molly, and the rest of her crew. At first, I wasn’t too impressed. For one thing, the acting is less than compelling, at least in the first half of the movie.
Overall, the only two standout characters are Samuel and a crewmember named Russell who is so insufferably obnoxious you at first can’t wait for him to die, the more violently the better. Everyone else remains pretty much one or two-dimensional including Molly who’s supposed to be the protagonist.
There’s also an unfortunate lesbian sex scene that lingers a bit longer than it needs to and is notable only for how gratuitous and clumsy it was as an unnecessary attempt to further establish Molly’s sexuality (which had already been done earlier).
Ultimately it makes the scene irrelevant and adds not a goddamn thing to the story or her character. I dunno. Maybe this was some kinda thing for the director. If that’s not the case, it sure as hell comes off that way, so I’m not walkin’ it back. Equally unclear is why the writers and/or director felt that anyone’s sexuality was integral to the plot. In this case, it weren’t.
One Remains drags its feet for half of its 93-minute run time. Minor spoiler, the main culprit is exactly who you’d suspect, but not in the way you’d expect. There’s an interesting albeit poorly explained element of the paranormal that manifests at about half way, and things ramp up mighty effectively from there—kinda like a reeaaalllyyy long uphill start of a roller coaster before the first big drop and a disproportionately short but nonetheless wild ride.
Sadly, that’s about all I can say without going into major spoilers. So, provided you meet the minimum height requirement for this attraction and can slog your way through the first 45 minutes like you’re waiting for a Six Flags coaster, ultimately One Remains pays off with some unexpected twists, turns, and jumps.
For your safety, remain seated until the ride comes to a full and complete stop. Please step off to your left. I do love beating a bad analogy into the ground.
Streaming- Plex, Prime, Tubi