Saturday, May 1, 2010
How appropriate that The Final is my final review for this year's bundle of After Dark Horrorfest. To any of you that have been paying attention, I took the challenge to watch and review all this year's films. What initially was something that excited me, finally filled me with dread. I started with ZMD, which was fantastic, so my hopes were really high. Then after that, one by one, the next sucking worse than the one before, I could barely stomach finishing the project. Hidden was another bright spot, but the rest were laughable, if barely passable.
Then like a ray of light, a beacon from the heavens, The Final comes along to leave me on high note. Definitely not a straight up horror film, almost like a modern version of Massacre At Central High(1976), with some tasteful bits of torture thrown in for good measure. Had the director went a bit more in the "torture porn" direction, this film would have failed miserably. The film is about Dane, a high schooler and his band of miscreant friends. Actually they are all very intelligent kids, the only problem is that they attacked and tortured daily, by the jocks and the "beautiful people". Dane's friend Ravi, is of middle-eastern descent, so of course, he is the butt of all the racism the jocks can muster. There is a female in the group, Emily, and the cheerleaders are the ones that make her life miserable. The bullying goes beyond the normal high school levels, as the villain's beat them, and break expensive items that belong to the "nerds".
It's not long before we discover that Dane and the gang have a plan to get even with the high school terrorists. They throw a party in an abandoned house, and invite all the students who have made their lives hell. They drug the punch, and one by one the elite pass out. When they come to, they are all chained to the floor, and the kids are well disguised in some sinister looking costumes. Ravi is an evil looking clown, there is an SS soldier, a gas mask, and a hood that looks like the "hillbilly" era Jason. The kids have made a vow that they will not kill the jocks, only torture them until they realize how they made the nerds feel for years. That is the basic plot of this film, but surprisingly it is executed pretty damned well. There are some Saw-esque moments where the nerds make the kids torture each other in order to save their own lives. Some twists are thrown in, a kid who they like shows up to the party and escapes. Also, one of the kids is bit to over-zealous and does not live up to the promise of not murdering the tormentors. The ending is good, which is one of the problems with previous After Dark films, and the acting is good, considering the silly high school dialogue they deliver. Vitamin Burger definitely recommends this film, and to close out, if you are interested in this years ADHF films, stick to ZMD, Hidden, and The Final, the others you can watch at your own risk.