CONTAINS SPOILERS AND APOLOGIES FOR THE DELAY
You see, I was going to write this up when I first saw it back in July, as the free film for Sleepy Queuers when the FrightFest tickets went on sale. I came out of the film thinking "well, meh", and when I got home I looked it up on the intraweb thing, where I found much reference to a quad bike chase. Quad bike chase? I certainly didn't remember that, so chalked it up to falling asleep (hardly surprising, as I'd been in the queue since about 4am and hadn't actually been to bed) - this despite going to see the lame Ashton Kutcher movie Killers on the same afternoon and, as far as I could tell, staying awake for the whole damn thing.
Anyway, The Final has just been released on DVD after an imperceptible theatrical release - apparently one screen in the West End. Call me picky, but I don't think that actually counts as a proper cinema release. Still, it's now available for home viewing and, on watching it (again), I have to say I don't think I actually did fall asleep. Everything is pretty much the same as I remembered, and the Quad Bike Chase is only brief. And it's still a case of "well, meh". It's a torture-based horror movie in which high-school bullies, thugs, jocks and bitches get their just desserts at the hands of those they've abused, persecuted and picked on: they're invited to a party, drugged and chained up, before being brutalised, mutilated and disfigured. Finger-lopping, acid and a little spinal surgery are used to pay the scum back for their behaviour, and fair enough because they're absolutely despicable. But one of their captives has escaped (pursued, briefly, by people on quad bikes) and is looking to get help....
Sadly, the movie ends with an almighty copout that weakens the whole movie: it's as if they were just getting into their stride when they realised that most horror movies clock in at 95 minutes maximum, and they had to wrap proceedings up very quickly. It feels forced and it doesn't feel believable. The "viewing online" concept isn't explored either - the avenging victims have installed webcams to capture events, but no-one's seen watching online and if it's being stored for future use, who's going to upload it?
It's ultimately of very mild interest, and there are some pleasingly unpleasant moments, but overall it doesn't work as well as it should. Like the handiwork of the prey-turned-predators, it feels incomplete and unfinished. Good in parts, but it doesn't go far enough and clocks off early.