Last Hours in Suburbia (2012)

Rating: C-

Dir: John Stimpson
Star: Kelcie Stranahan, Maiara Walsh, Grant Harvey, Tom Kemp

Grace (Stranahan) is about to go to jail. While she doesn’t remember anything of what happened that evening, Grace was found drunk and unconscious behind the wheel of a car, following an accident which took the life of her best friend, Jennifer (Walsh). So she must be responsible, right? As her last hours of freedom tick away, Grace’s guilt manifests itself in the shape of Jennifer’s “ghost”, who convinces Grace to retrace her steps that evening, in an attempt to figure out exactly what happened, leading up to the fatal crash. Was it really Grace’s fault? For her reputation prior to that night was straight-edge, rather than the party animal she apparently became.

However, is it possible Grace is about to discover, there are also times when your brain’s erasure of the past is entirely for the best, and certain skeletons may be best off left buried in her convenient, plot-driven amnesia? This begins promisingly enough. It doesn’t pretend there’s anything particularly supernatural about Jennifer’s presence, and she makes for a deliciously acerbic presence, entirely contrary to what you might expect, based on the way she died. The two teenagers have a relationship that seems perfectly natural and believable, and it’s fun simply to watch their interaction as Grace begins picking at the scabs of her memory loss, Jennifer correcting her recollections when they drift away from what happened.

Unfortunately, the deeper Grace digs, the less relevant her late friend becomes to the process, and the whole thing eventually disintegrates into a final 20 minutes that contains nothing except overwhelmingly whiny teenage angst to an almost embarrassing level. Seriously, it’s what I imagine a Very Special Episode of One Tree Hill must be like, and if likely realistic enough, isn’t my idea of interesting viewing.