Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Final

The Final (2010)

Hmm, seems like I've been watching a lot of After Dark movies. This one is from the 2010 lineup and I read a really positive review on Bloody-Disgusting which got me interested. Bullies in high school getting what they deserve... everybody loves that! Yes yes yes, REVENGE HORROR. But what started as a cool premise quickly took the wrong turn for me.

The film starts off with a very generic black and white scene of a girl who has a mutilated face who walks into a diner, gets stared at, and screams, "I didn't choose to look this way!" (or something along those lines). If you can't guess why she looks like that then you need to go to Horror Movie 101. Or rather, Movie 101. The Final starts off this way, and continues the entire way through - as in, everything is predictable. No need to strap in your seatbelt or anything. A bunch of outcasts want revenge on their bullies and that's basically it.

Even still, if you can create great character development that makes us really feel for the bullied kids I would get behind the entire movie, but if you can believe this, I actually felt really bad for the bullies and wanted them to escape. Yes, bullying in high school is bad, and in some cases (often reported on CNN), leads to some serious and tragic results. However, The Final doesn't push the viewer to feel what the bullied kids are going through - we see them being called some names, not being invited to a party, etc. Typical high school crap which doesn't justify the outcasts wanting to torture them to that degree. It's like, what if the Glee club kids (on the show Glee, I mean) turned around and wanted to torture the shit out of those jocks... weird and uncalled for. I think if more time was spent on character development it would have saved this film. Granted, The Final also explains why else the outcasts in The Final are fucked up - family problems, abuse, etc. but that's where I stop relating to the outcasts. These kids are actually fucked up, like serial killer fucked up - they're not just normal kids pushed to the edge by bullying (which sure, I think I could be).

Mix that in with some really horribly long and cliche "lessons" in why bullying is bad and you have a snoozefest. It's the sort of "lesson" that screams in your face BULLYING IS BAD AND YOU COULD BE TORTURED IF YOU AREN'T NICE! The gore is "meh" at best, and I finish this movie in my bed ready to go to sleep. I'm not sure, maybe if you can find yourself relating to these outcasts you'll be cheering for their revenge, but the outcasts lost my sympathy much too quickly.

Overall: 4.5/10
Gore meter: 6/10
Scare meter: 3/10
Laugh meter: 2/10 (oh oops, this movie wasn't meant to be funny?! Seriously though, watch the lead outcast make his speech about bullying and tell me you don't laugh both at the bad acting and the "message" of the movie)

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