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A Pagan Review of the Film "The Last Keepers"

Updated on September 11, 2016
WiccanSage profile image

Sage is a professional writer of 14 years, and a Wiccan of 25 years. Her religious ideas and experiences often inspire her work.

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The Last Keepers

Used under 'fair use' clause for transformative purposes.
Used under 'fair use' clause for transformative purposes. | Source

Fun Fact: Original title for this movie was 'The Art of Love.' Thank goodness they changed it.

The Last Keepers
The Last Keepers

Avoid the free online edited versions that cut out some of the best parts. Get the full film for your collection.


Pagan Film Review: The Last Keepers

The Last Keepers is an American film released in April of 2013, though frankly I had never heard of it until I stumbled upon it while browsing Netflix Streaming Wireless. This PG-13 sleeper doesn't appear to be well known, because when I ask people about it, most have no idea it exists. It's really obscure. Wikipedia didn't even have a page for it (it does now, as of 2016), and as of the writing of this review, there's not a single written review of it on Rotten Tomatoes. That's unusual.

But, anyone who has read my hubs knows my niche here. I'm not a film or book critic; I'm a Pagan writer who occasionally reviews books and films that touch on Pagan spiritual themes. I guess I am a ‘Pagan fiction buff’-- that is, I like to check out movies and books that have something to do with Paganism, Witchcraft and Wicca (the more it claims to be a realistic portrayal, the better) -- and I know there are more Pagans out there who love to see positive Pagan depictions in film, so I thought I’d get the word out.

I got excited in the first few minutes of The Last Keepers. I had no idea what it would be about when I turned it on blindly, but it was almost immediately apparent that the family is Pagan. And it appeared to be depicting a Pagan religion realistically.

There is fantasy in it (it is fiction, after all), but there were some very exciting, realistic 'Pagan moments' in there for me, including a very inspiring autumn equinox ritual that’s probably the most realistic fiction film portrayal of a Pagan sabbat ritual I've ever seen.

The Last Keepers

Movies about Witches and Pagans
Movies about Witches and Pagans

I Could Move In With This Earthy, Quirky Pagan Artist Family

Aiden Quinn - The Last Keepers
Aiden Quinn - The Last Keepers

The Last Keepers: Cast

One of the reasons I was surprised that I’d never heard of this film, and that so few others have ever heard of it, is that the supporting cast draws from some pretty strong talent.

The lovely Virginia Madsen (Candyman; The Propehcy) plays the practical mother. Aiden Quinn, who's been in some of my all-time favorite films (Practical Magic; Benny and Joon) plays the laid-back father. And Olympia Dukakis, who I absolutely adore (Steel Magnolias; Moonstruck; Mr. Holland's Opus), plays a wise yet light-hearted grandmother.

And this is just the supporting cast! Seeing this list, I felt like I couldn't go wrong watching it. How bad could a movie be with these three in it?

Though she's not given top billing, the film focuses on Zosia Mamet, who was not someone I was familiar with. The only movie I'd ever seen her in is The Kids are All Right and I could barely remember her from her fairly small role. In looking her up I found she's more well known for her TV work than for movies (she’s had recurring roles on United States of Tara, Parenthood, Mad Men, and stars as Shoshanna in Girls. I've never actually seen any of these shows myself).

Her love interest is portrayed by Sam Underwood. It appears this might be his first feature film, though he’s done a lot of television as well.

I have to admit, it was the supporting adult cast and Pagan themes that I enjoyed about this film more than Mamet’s performance or Mamet and Underwood’s character's relationship. But I’ll get to that.

Maggie Greenwald directed the film, another person with whom I’m not that familiar. She’s done much more for TV, which is probably why The Last Keepers sometimes has the feel of a made-for-TV movie you might see on channels like Hallmark or Lifetime.

Rhea (Mamet) in her recycled plastic bag dress.

Environmental messages are subtle.
Environmental messages are subtle.

Teen Romance Fantasy Films - Gotta Love 'Em

Good teen role models in film can be hard to find. It's nice to see a movie depict teens taking things slow.
Good teen role models in film can be hard to find. It's nice to see a movie depict teens taking things slow.

Synopsis of The Last Keepers

Rhea (Mamet) lives with an eccentric-seeming family. They’re artists, they live out in the woods, and worship an ancient Goddess.

Rhea knows about the family religion, and knows they’re the last in this line (most others were killed during the Witch burning times), but she doesn’t know about her mother (Madesen) and grandmother’s (Dukakis) powers. She begins having dreams and visions that hint of the past, and perhaps of the future.

Though these dreams and visions strike her as odd, she blows them off. Rhea’s just doing the teen thing—she’s being angsty. She’s trying to express herself and fit in at school. She’s falling for a cute guy (Underwood) who has a crush on her.

Rhea and her mother are particularly going head-to-head. Her mother demands her dedication to the arts, and does not want her to go to college—she wants her to stay home, learn art, and continue on the family line. Rhea’s dad (Quinn) and grandmother are trying to be more understanding about Rhea’s desire for independence and to find her own future.

There are things Rhea doesn’t know about herself, or her family, that can’t be kept hidden anymore.

The Family who Casts Together, Lasts Together

Good Witchcraft is hard to find in films.
Good Witchcraft is hard to find in films.

What About You?

Have you seen or heard of The Last Keepers?

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My Opinion on The Last Keepers

My feelings about this movie were mixed. There were things I liked, and things I didn’t like. Let me start with my dislikes first, so that I can end later on a positive note.


  • The teen characters are pretty much the movie’s downfall for me. I didn’t like the kids, I didn’t like their story lines. They bored me, frankly. I found them ultimately hard to like and fairly uninteresting. Especially the ‘popular’ kids, who are depicted as little more than walking clichés.
  • The distorted Pagan history (perpetuating the ‘Burning Times’ myths). I know, I know—it’ a fiction movie, but the continuous perpetuation of these ‘9 million women were burned’ myths just grates on my nerves.
  • The storyline and outcome were fairly predictable.
  • It drags at times. The pacing wasn’t great.


  • It’s a good family movie for Pagans, even young teens and tweens could watch it and might actually enjoy seeing a nice Pagan family portrayed in film. There’s no sex at all and language is pretty clean. The teens do drink at one point, but this is shown with consequences. Personally I don’t mind kids seeing things like drinking or drug use in films, as long as it’s not glorified—it can open up a dialogue. There are a couple of scenes that young children might find scary; the most violent scene in the movie is not that bloody, but it does involve the death of a goat (and before you ask-- no, it’s not a Pagan sacrifice). This might be disturbing for viewers sensitive about seeing dead animals, but the movie doesn’t drag it out, doesn’t make it too gory, and it’s not gratuitous violence.
  • The adult characters, and the seasoned actors who played them. The acting on their part was stellar. I wish Rhea would go off to college, and they would make a part 2 with the adults in the film, focusing on them. These actors are all awesome and I liked these characters a lot—I loved their lives, the relationship between the married couple, between mother and daughter. I would have loved to see more of them.
  • There were Pagans. And it wasn’t a horror movie. Score.
  • The themes and messages in the movie, about all things being connected, about man being not in nature, but part of nature. The scenery and surroundings were often breathtaking. I think it’s a feel-good film—but then, I’m Pagan. In my research I’ve found a few reviews by Christians who were highly disturbed at seeing Paganism portrayed in a positive light in a film advertised as a teen romance; so I guess ‘feel good’ depends on your point of view of what feels good.
  • Some of the more realistic Pagan scenes were pretty awesome. In one of the opening scenes, the mother was performing devotionals to the Goddess, then the family went out to greet the day with morning prayers. In a later scene, the family held a very lovely Mabon (autumn equinox) celebration.
  • Sadly there are still people who will ask me or my family if our religion is like something out of Charmed… it’s nice to have a film where I can point to a scene and say, “No, it’s more like that.”

The Last Keepers Trailer

Final Thoughts

One warning for those looking for this film on places like Youtube— there are some versions of the film posted, but none are complete. There are cut scenes (and from what I could find, it’s mostly the Pagan/religious scenes that were cut). So you might not get full enjoyment out of the film if you seek it on such websites. It’s as of this writing available on Netflix Streaming Wireless, and if you don’t have that you’d do better to rent it or just buy it.

All in all, anyone who likes films with an earthy/magical theme, anyone who likes the teen romance fantasy genre, and anyone who likes seeing Pagans depicted in film might enjoy this movie and should give it a try.


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    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Hiya wiccan, ooh now your talking my language! lol! I have to go and see if I can get it over here, its just my kind of thing, just like you I have been a pagan all my life, and it will be nice to see it portrayed nearly right if not completely right, thanks for sharing it, voted up and shared, nell

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Hi Sage. You have written a very exceptional movie review here. I now want to see the movie, for I love Pagan traditions. I agree that there just are not enough films about Paganism that ring true. Well done, Sage.

      Voted Up,U,I and H+

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 2 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Nice review and I should watch this movie. Thanks for writing and sharing with us. Good job and voted up!


    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      wiccan.....Thanks for the intro to this movie, which I have not heard of but find interesting. I have loved Virginia Masden since seeing her in "Creator" many years ago (with Peter O"Toole & Vincent Spano) of my all-time favorite movies (also a movie with little publicity and/or acclaim) I also like Aiden Quinn and glad to see him in a current film.

      I know very little about Paganism but am always happy to increase my knowledge of all things in this world. I'm a huge supporter of life-long continuing education. We positively must keep on learning!

      Up++++ Looking forward to seeing this movie.

    • catgypsy profile image

      catgypsy 2 years ago from the South

      I was really excited hearing about this movie until the goat part. As an avid animal lover, that would bother me...regardless of why the goat dies. But thanks for doing such a thorough review on it. It saved me renting it and getting disturbed.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 years ago

      Hi Nell Rose; Definitely worth a look! I hope you enjoy it. Thanks!

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 years ago

      Hi Phyllis! Thank you so much~ it's true, it's not something you find often (except maybe in horror movies, and usually the portrayal is not very good). Thanks for your comments!

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 years ago

      Thanks prasetio30, I appreciate your comment. If you see it I hope you enjoy it as I did. Have a good one.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 years ago

      Hi fpherj48~ I know, she's awesome. I always love seeing her, and she's great in this. When I saw the three adult actors in this movie, I got very excited. Aside from the hocus-pocus of fantasy (which you'll be able to point out right away), this movie does give a good impression of what Pagan families can be like at the core, so I hope you enjoy.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 years ago

      Hi Catgypsy, thanks for stopping by! Yes, the goat part was a sad part. It was meant to be sad, it wasn't gratuitous or bloody and it was quick, but my heart went out. I'm glad the warning here will save you any unnecessary pain. Thanks for your comment!

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Dear Sage thank you for this wonderful review on a movie i have never heard about, but i will go to our video hire store to look for it this weekend. Anything that involves nature has my full attention and as a bonus to learn more about a pagan family is awesome.

    • Pawpawwrites profile image

      Jim 2 years ago from Kansas

      I haven't seen it, but I might have to check it out.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 years ago

      Thanks Nadine May, If you are a nature lover I am sure you will at least enjoy the scenery and some conversations-- this movie is definitely for nature lovers.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 years ago

      Hi Pawpaw, thanks for commenting! Hope you enjoy it if you watch it. Have a great day!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love the cast and I'm blown away that I have never heard of this movie. I know I'm kind of "out of touch" at times, but I usually know the movies that are out.....anyway, thanks for the review. I will definitely be seeing this one.

    • toretto323 2 years ago

      Does anyone know if there is going to be a part two or three or four id pay to see all 10 in theatres I think this move can move mountains it would be a shame to only see one and no more

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 years ago

      Hi Toretto, I know right? I would too. I enjoyed it very much; if I ever hear about a part 2 I will let you know.

    • Daniella Lopez profile image

      Danielle Lopez Newcomb 2 years ago from Arkansas

      This sounds so cool! I haven't even heard of this film. I'm always on the hunt for positive Pagan films and literature. Thanks for sharing!

    • bethperry profile image

      bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee

      WiccanSage, I had not heard of this film before reading your Hub, and I'm so glad you wrote about it! I didn't know studios ever made realistic movies about Pagans - so refreshing to hear.

      I'll definitely have to find and watch The Last Keepers.

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Author Nicole Canfield 22 months ago from the Ether

      I'll have to see if its still on Netflix. Thanks for the suggestion!

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 22 months ago


    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 18 months ago from Oakley, CA

      Very interesting--I'll have to look it up. Great review!

      Voted up++ and pinned.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 18 months ago

      I have heard rumors of a possible sequel featuring the parents/grandmother, when the teen goes off to college. I don't know if it's true (small film company) but I would jump on that!

    • Iris ShadoWolfe 16 months ago

      Loved it. Just happened acrossed it today, saved and shared with my husband. Great addition to my Practical Magic favorite. So great to have Aiden Quinn and Olympia and Virginia. Did not know the teens at all but would love another with adults primary. Thanks!

    • lela 15 months ago

      I really liked the movie and hope that they will make a sequel. There's just no way it should end just when you find the prophecy is true. I also want to see if she remains in the town and how the townspeople react to her powers. I want to see the growth of her relationship with Oliver and her family now that all is revealed. I absolutely loved the cast and hope they can keep them all for said sequel.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 15 months ago

      Hi Iris, thanks for commenting. I heard rumor of a sequel revolving around the adults but no positive plans yet. I would so totally jump on it if it were made. ~Sage

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 15 months ago

      Hi Lela; I agree, it definitely opened the door to potential sequels, as well as prequels. I would love to see this cast come together again for more. Thanks for commenting! ~Sage

    • Arionna777 14 months ago

      Just finished watching this with my mom! I'll have to go to the library to read the book! Fantastic review

    • Kelly 10 months ago

      Anyone have any idea what kind of Goddess statue can be seen in the movie set's dining room? Looks like a wheat/harvest Goddess of some sort?

    • Maggie 10 months ago

      Hi there! I enjoyed your review very much. I watched with my husband recently and was excited to be able to say to him, "Isn't it neat to think there are actual families like that out there?" In the pagan sense, of course. He was like, "Are there?" I was pleased to see you second that some of the ritual and daily life is realistic in the film. Reminded me of my pagan and Wiccan friends in college! I'm a Christian but I recognize that many of my traditions are tied to these older ways and it was always a pleasure to be invited to celebrations like Mabon.

    • Heidi 9 months ago

      I saw the ending on showtime one morning. Found it playing again and DVR'd it. Was a nice teen family oriented movie.

    • Douglas Keech 8 months ago

      Stopped by here by googling the movie. Just finished watching it. I've gotta say, I'd consider myself a pretty devout Christian and I loved this movie. Better than almost all (if not in fact all) the Christian movies I've seen.

      Very positive movie, and it's awesome that it turned out to be mostly accurate. And I love that it seems to be just like any out devoutly religious family. It's as if pagans are people too or something.

    • Charlie Pemberton 7 months ago

      I saw this movie and enjoyed it. It was a fantasy romance; but pagans shown in a positive light was refreshing. I have recommended it to a very dear friend. Our relationship with the earth is very old and it was nice to see a movie reconnect us to it.

    • Rhonda Rice 7 months ago

      Hi, I found this movie today and have fallen in love with it! I have had Netflix for two years and just found the movie. Nice to know there are films that are positive to my beliefs.

    • Scott 6 months ago

      The movie is currently on Netflix and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    • Liam 6 months ago

      You know I managed to watch the entire film, i'm no film critic either. I have to say that while I did love the acting of the adult cast in the film, and I give major credit to several of the scenes depicting something that more closely resembles magic; I cannot stand that the vision, plot, storyline of the movie just kind of vomited on itself the very moment Rhea starts hooking up with that other boy. Granted the teen romance between Rhea and Oliver made me cringe just a tad bit but I let it go. But seriously the ending was so anti-climatic and obliterated the whole point of the story. Oh bam we crashed oh wham I healed everyone (by the way without actually discovering the whole bit and meaning about the power of healing emanating from love thing) and then sham I walk out of the woods where Oliver just magically appears to be driving and then drives Rhea home.

      What..? I'm sorry it just seems like it was a magically brilliant idea that ended up so not magically brilliant after all. In fact the movie would have been half as good if it were played in reverse. I give the movie a 4 out of 10 and only because of the opening blessing scene, the autumn equinox ritual scene, even the scene where Rhea is magically place the dead tree stumps into place, and because of the three adult characters and their decent acting. That's it; the end.

    • Michael 6 months ago

      I just watched the movie and loved it. I agree that the portrayal of pagans in a positive light was wonderful...and that scenery!!!

    • Victoria Foster 5 months ago

      I happened upon this movie last week on one of the movie channels. Like you, being Pagan I was very interested to see how it was portrayed. I fully enjoyed the adults who played the family. I could have done without the school stuff and wished it focuses more on how Rhea was being taught about her heritage. The morning prayers as well as the Mabon rites were beautiful. I even wrote down the Mabon rite to try and incorporate it for my own. Your review is very well put together and I agree with everything you talked about. I'm kind of interested to read the books to see what happens next. Have a blessed day!

    • RuthAnn 5 months ago

      I'm curious if anyone knows what the inscription on the fireplace hood says or means. Liked the movie a lot, but Loved the sets most. I'm doing a remodel and am interested in making a fireplace that looks like the one in this movie

    • Nell Rose 5 months ago

      I watched it the other day and to be honest was pretty disappointed. it was so lame, and hardly any magic in it. it was watchable but that was about all.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 4 months ago

      I have to watch it RuthAnn, lol. I didn't notice. But if I know or find out anything about it, I'll let you know. Thanks!

    • EerieCipher 4 months ago

      I both loved and disliked this movie, but I agree with your review! The adult characters were my favorite, but I found myself not at all liking the teens in the movie. I was disappointed that the teens that killed the goat did not get any on screen punishment, seeing as the boy knew who did it. And I did not like how the main girl took the full on jerk teen rebellion thing that fixed itself a little to suddenly for my tastes. I am biased I'm sure. I've never enjoyed movies where most of the teens are unnaturally jerks to such a level.

      But the way paganism was shown was amazing and really helped the movie shine more for me.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 months ago

      EerieCipher, we're on the same page here with that!

    • Gypsy_Ken 3 months ago

      I've always loved the witchy the mes and all. But i Don't know how to find like real Books about their traditions Or the rituales with herbs Or even recepies where i can do things like that. I really want to know whats exacly their pagan believes and how to study their day of life cruz i really want my life like that.

      I justo saw the movie. Hi from Puerto Rico!

    • Gemsong profile image

      Madalain Ackley 3 months ago from Richmond, Virginia

      Just found this on Netflix. Once I realized it was about paganism, I waited for the usual ham-handed stereotypes. I was pleasantly surprised when that didn't happen. The teen angst plot was the usual cookie cutter. But I did enjoy the adult actors and their relationships. there are rumors of a sequel but time will tell. Lovely review.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 months ago

      Hi! I love Puerto Rico, my hubby is from P.R.

      Being a Pagan Witch, life is pretty normal I'd say. But maybe a little more interesting sometimes, lol. Please feel free to read through my articles or ask questions if you're curious. :o)

    • monasacct1 2 months ago

      I've watched this movie many many times. I have to agree with your review. Although Rheas movement of the tree stumps and her comment about just trying to see how it supposed to feel (not a direct quote, I know it's off) but that's one of the only teen moments not so hokey. I would love to see a part 2 with more of the adults and Rhea in college

      For good Pagan/Wiccan reads, I believe you would enjoy Cate Tiernans Sweep series

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 months ago

      Hi Monasacct1; Sweep, I did read that series. We all did, my daughter kept picking them for homeschooling when they came out (we used to have a sort of family book of the month club, lol).

    • WiccanLife 7 weeks ago

      How i came about this film, was my mom can home with the film one day (not sure where she got it from) but once i watched it i fell in love. It is one of my favourite films. I suggest to the people who hasn't watched it yet, you must! To me it is a wonderful film. Thanks you for this wonderful review.

    • Nat 3 weeks ago

      I am watching this movie right now and after watching the first 20 minutes I had to look it up. This is wonderful. I am a wiccan and I am watching with my Christian mother. She seems to be enjoying this too

    • stellaborealis 6 days ago

      The movie has good bones and I liked it. It is wonderful portrayal of pagans is a spiritual sense. The location/geography was wonderful. Who could go wrong with the three adults, Dukakis, Madsen & Quinn. Excellent. The supporting teenagers were Ok. Sam Underwood (Oliver) was ok, although I think he could have delivered his lines with a little more like an intense/dreamer rather than a love-smitten puppy. Now for the bad parts. What was with the little girl in the cheesy satin blue dress and platinum wig? She looked like an alien. The wardrobe/hair people should have been shot (or whoever made the decision). Now for the Rhea character. Casting was all wrong. She didn't look like she even belonged to the family. Too old looking. Needed to be a little less paranoid and a little more boho idealistic with a smattering of teen perplexed look. Overall a good film. At least they portrayed pagans in a good light instead of the usual Hollywood scare hype. Too bad they couldn't do a remake.

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