Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Finale (DVD Review)

Courtesy of E1 Entertainment

Writer/Dir: John Michael Elfers - feature film directorial debut
Cast: Carolyn von Hauck, Suthi Picotte, Brad Barnes, Elizabeth Holmes, Steven Nieport
USA, 2009

Reason to see: Always on the hunt for good horror films

Wow, where to begin with Finale. I love an ultra low budget horror film that fully embraces it's low budgetness but doesn't skimp on story, ideas or atmosphere and for that Finale delivers to the bitter end. I certainly can't say I understood it all, but that just ending up adding to its charm.

Finale is a supernatural centric horror film that follows a family where after a death of a family member, each remaining family member becomes drawn into an odd world of the unexplained he left behind. Sometimes by active choice, sometimes by accident, but inevitable all take part or are affected in some way with the bizarre and surreal world. The peak into this world is the one of the highlights of the film, as the visual stylings to depict and incorporate it into the film are freaking awesome. At all times you are completely aware that it's a low budget film, but instead of this being a limitation of the film it fully embraces and owns it, especially with the use of colour and texture through editing. I keep asking myself "How did they *do* that?" or just marvelling at the intensity and vivaciousness of the effects.

Although there was lots to enjoy in the film, I was a bit saddened by the inclusion of several scenes of scantily clad people moaning and groaning ritualistically as well as the presence of some sexual violence, because without this in the film I could really widely recommend it. But, as much as I didn't like those scene they were important to the context of the film and therefore s intregral, as much as I would have preferred not to sit through them. The only other thing that at times threw me out of the pace of the film was the acting, which holds a certain kind of charm specifically to low budget horror movies. But, every time I got thrown out of the film I was quickly pulled back in either by the inventiveness of the story, the fascinating effects or the brilliance of the overall vision. Watching it was a full on roller coaster ride of being drawn into and out of the film, and then back in again. A highly engrossing viewing experience on so many levels, and one that left me thinking about the film ever since.

Gore & sexual violence

DVD Extras:
  • A Trail by Fire - Making of Finale (44 minutes) - extensive making of that has tons of behind-the-scenes footage from auditions, shooting on an ultra-low budget, set dressing, practical effects and more. I loved how they walked through several of the scenes of the film from set-up to filming then actually showing the scene in the film, and the energy of how they put those sections together really represented the spirit of the film. The section on practical effects is quite substantial (11 minutes) as well as being informative and entertaining.
  • Deleted Scenes (4 scenes, 3 minutes) - all very short scenes that were cut,
  • Trailer
Finale is available on DVD as of August 10, 2010. Check it out over at Amazon.ca
& Amazon.com

Shannon's Overall View:
I found it very engaging
I'll watch it again
I'd recommend to fans of supernatural horror and films with a unique visually style

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© Shannon Ridler, 2010


Suzie Ridler said...

Despite the groaning and scantily clad people (how original) this movie actually sounds like one I want to see and I have never heard of. Thanks for letting me know about Finale Shannon! That is why I love your blog, I find out about movies I know I will love but have never heard of until now. Thanks!

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

You are welcome Suzie! I wonder what you will make of it, it's got a very cool visual style and interesting story, but the groaning.. not so much to my liking!

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