After Dark Horror Fest 4 "The Final"


This movie was part of the After Dark Horror Fest series.  Each year they would release "8 films to die for".  Now they just go by the title After Dark Originals. All of the movies are straight to DVD and are usually either really bad or somewhat bearable.  "The Final" caught my eye because it dealt with bullying in high school.  I was never personally bullied but it is just so mean and senseless.  Although it seems to be ingrained in us as people to beat down those who are different.  Last year I reviewed a bunch of movies involving this theme and thought this would be a good fit.

"The Final" is a pretty standard story about a revenge fantasy come to life for a bunch of high school outcasts.  The rich kids and the jocks bully the immigrants and the weak.  The cheerleaders and pretty girls berate the other girls.  The way they introduce the bullies is actually kind of funny since it is so over the top and stereotypical.  I have a feeling the filmmakers knew this and are playing it for laughs.  Also making them so unlikable that we really want these kids to suffer in the end.  The outcasts really seem to be just regular kids but they put together an elaborate plan to teach the bullies what it is like to be them. They plan a costume party and invite all the kids they want revenge against and surprise they all show up.  The punch they serve is spiked with something to make them all pass out and when they wake up they are all chained together to face their wrath.

The filmmakers are obviously horror fans themselves and have inserted several homages to past movies like Audition, Saw, Heathers, Deliverance and more.  The group of outcasts is lead by Dane and angry and bitter teen who has been pushed to the edge.  The lone girl is actually kind of hot and would have a great future as a dominatrix.  The jocks and popular kids are physically and psychologically tortured by Dane and his followers for most of the movie.  They will not kill them but will maim and disfigure to let people know that they are just as ugly on the outside as they are on the inside.

The movie does tend to fall into many of the teen horror traps and clich├ęs.  All of the students are at least 25 years old and hardly look like high schoolers.  Also, their extremely elaborate plan was completed with very little planning, and money didn't seem to be an object.  The small town cops are always completely inept and clueless.  The lone black kid who is every bodies friend doesn't die (I know shocking).  This is a good movie to watch with friends at midnight since it'll be a whole lot better if you've had a few and just looking for a good time.