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Being a working, but unknown actor, even one with the talent and looks to have a legitimate shot at making it in Hollywood, has to be a frustrating experience. Even if you’re doing well on the audition circuit, picking up screen time and paychecks wherever you can, there’s never any guarantee that the exact right role in the exact right project will come along to catapult your career to the next level.

Thus, you’ve got to admire the chutzpah of those determined performers who, rather than just taking their chances in other people’s films, grab the bull by the horns and just make their own damn movie to star in. It worked for the likes of Lena Dunham and Brit Marling and even Vin Diesel, and it comes with the added bonus of an above-the-line credit that proves your worth behind the scenes, as well – not too bad a deal.

One of the latest to go this particular route is Hallie Shepherd, who wrote and plays the lead in the indie thriller Last Seen in Idaho. Directed by Eric Colley (who himself appears as a pivotal supporting character), the film surely gives Shepherd a lot to do. Her character, Summer, witnesses a politically connected murder, survives a horrific car wreck while fleeing the scene, suffers from amnesia that prevents her from recalling the killing and the ensuing crash, and begins having psychic episodes in which she foresees her own kidnapping and murder. She’s also got a dark romantic past involving one of the perpetrators of the murder she witnessed, as well as a younger sister (Alexis Monnie) she’s desperate to keep out of trouble.

“…a dark romantic past involving…perpetrators of the murder…”

Acting-wise, Shepherd acclimates herself fairly well to all of this, but unfortunately, the film ends up being a less successful showcase for her talents than it should be, hamstrung by pedestrian dialogue, murky storytelling, and a handful of annoying supporting characters that – rather than providing interesting foils for Shepherd to play against – just grate on viewers’ nerves.

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  1. Vanessa Vensor says:

    I just watched this movie for the first time yesterday! I have direct TV and I think they played it on Sundance but don’t quote that because I did not write it down or record it so there’s no way to look back and be certain. But, I agree with you when you said it had a really strong start for this was the one and only reason I stayed tuned in! I too hated the almost rape scene! Like, ugh! The guy looked like a pyscho, “getting off” every time he appeared whether he was beating someone, just standing there or when he humiliated that poor girl! The guy she was on the couch with when he started picking on her was supposed to be her bf, what a flipping pussy! It made me so mad to see him to scared to speak up, and she still sat back with him after that. Ya she smacks him but come on! It was nerve-wrecking! Furthermore, I really felt like I was watching some low budget crap! The acting between Sheperd and her newfound fling was very poor the kissing scene was so blan no flavor what so ever her facial expression killed it I didn’t believe it one bit it’s like she froze she dont have what it takes to get in the zone tune the cameras, the producer, anyone in the room out and make a believable hot love scene!!!! There were some good parts I liked where she was going with the story but just lacks in delivery.

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