The Final (2010) Review
Written by: jmh314
After a strong first year, After Dark Horror Fest has been pretty hit or miss the last 2 years. Year 2 had a few standouts and some pretty bad films, and last year I only found one film that I considered enjoyable to the point of owning (which was Voices). Now in it's 4th year, ADHF caught me off guard because I had no idea these were on their way to DVD already. I knew nothing about them but decided to read some plots and jump right into the few that sounded semi-interesting. The first of which I got a chance to sample was The Final.
The Final is the story of Dane, a high school boy who gets picked on regularly at school by the jocks and popular kids. As a matter of fact, Dane and all his "misfit" friends get routinely picked on to the point where they decide they cant take it anymore. Being avid fans of horror films, Dane and his friends take ideas from movies and come up with a plot to throw a fake party, drug everyone, and torture them all for picking on Dane and his friends. Their plan is not to kill them but to inflict pain and punishment on them so they will know what it's like to be "different." Theres not much more to the plot then that. They try and throw in some minor story points and shake things up at the end, but what it comes down to is a story all too eerily familiar in this day and age. Bully picks on boy. Boy buys guns to kill/hurt/scare bully. I understand that these situations have become all too unfortunately common in real life, but do we need a movie about it to hit on all the stereotypes of real life? The kids who get picked on are loners, have weird interests, dress funny(or in trench coats), or are of different ethnicity so others dont accept them and they cant take it and decide to kill their classmates. For me, it's just not all that necessary to make a film about this when we've come to an unfortunate time where we can turn on the news and see the same things.
However, I did have low expectations going in because of this plot and must say I was somewhat entertainined. The problem is there is a great buildup after getting to know some of the "misfits" and seeing their struggles but ultimately the revenge is a let down. Seeing as their characters came up with ideas on how to get revenge from horror films, all the methods of torture/revenge are homages(or ripoffs) to other films. Nothing remotely original about it and they almost held back a little. I am not a huge fan of torture films, but if there is gonna be torture, make it worthwhile and not predictable and unoriginal.
The acting was about what you would expect from a group of young actors playing angry teens, jocks, or the popular Mean Girls. Dialog was dumbed down to show their high school ages, with lines like "all is fair in sex & high school" being some of the cheesy lines throughout. All of the misfits had "costumes" they wore, some of which were interesting but all of which were unoriginal. A clown, a scarecrow, a nazi, a gas mask...etc. The FX on the torture were mediocre. Nothing stood out as very good and most were pretty simple and not nearly as realistic as one would think.
All in all, with The Final you get what you'd expect. If you are looking for a revenge film in which high school "losers" decide to kill their tormentors for revenge, thats what this provides. But the story is underwhelming and the last half when things could of gotten truly ugly they back of and seem to hold back. For my money, I'd rather just watch the torture scenes from films they pay homage to because those films are far better. But i guess there are worse ways of could of spent these 90 minutes than watching The Final.