Film #200: THE FINAL
2.5 out of 5 stars
Capitalizing on an audience’s inherent feelings of persecution & isolation (particularly as teens), this entry in the After Dark Horror Fest is a mixed bag. It sets its subjugated antagonists up as moral vindicators while echoing emotions undoubtedly felt by Eric Harris & Dylan Klebold just before Columbine. We get it… Being an outcast in high school sucks. For all its posturing though, THE FINAL ends up taking its own self-righteous stance and still manages to come off exploitive and soulless. Instead of attempting to offer insight into what could have prompted such actions (bullying is too broad a stroke to explain the actions taken), it first lets the audience revel in the revenge (in scenes reminiscent of torture porn) then it stands in judgment of those very same actions. Also, it is barely touched upon how the misfits leader becomes just as drunk on his new power as his victims were back in the school halls. The film is worth watching, but (as with many in this series) it helps to not expect much.