Reviewed by The Foywonder
Starring Luke Perry, Eric Bacic, Lauren Holly, Cole Heppel
Directed by Uwe Boll
Distributed by Phase 4 Films
Arriving on DVD shelves this week with absolutely no fanfare whatsoever is the apocalyptic thriller The Final Storm from director Uwe Boll. Well, maybe not on DVD shelves. Amazon has the DVD for sale, but my local Blockbuster sure didn’t have it available. Netflix doesn’t even carry the DVD, but they do offer it via instant streaming. Even Brain Damage Films does a better job distributing its films than this low budget Canadian offering from the notorious Dr. Boll.
Tom (Eric Bacic, who must have asked what his motivation was and director Boll replied, “Pretend you’re Billy Ray Cyrus!”), his wife Gillian (Lauren Holly), and their ginger kid Graham (Cole Heppel, Selma Blair’s son in The Fog remake) live out in the rural countryside away from civilization. A storm has been raging outside for days. Animals are behaving strangely. The TV broadcasts scenes of violent storms causing global devastation and worldwide social unrest. Then the TV signal is lost, phones go dead, and the power goes out. An enigmatic man with biblical verses tattooed on his arms passes out on the doorstep of their home. The storm subsides. The animals are gone. The people are gone. This stranger named Silas (Luke Perry rockin’ a scruffy beard) is very evasive about who he is or where he came from or what he knows about what is going on outside aside from making cryptic statements about it being the prophesized end of the world.
Nobody behaves rationally, and even when they’re supposed to be behaving irrationally, their irrationality doesn’t ring true either. Lauren Holly is the only actor in the cast sometimes allowed to react to their situation like a real person would. Silas is supposed to be mysterious and potentially threatening so his strangeness is fairly understandable. The aloof son finds stuff to occupy his time and never behaves as concerned about the possibility of it being the end of days with even an ounce of despair comparable to that which he displays early on at the loss of his pet dog. They’re all cut off from the outside world with no electricity, no communication, no idea what has happened aside from increasingly alarming evidence that this Silas guy’s apocryphal ramblings might have some validity; and yet, the family, Tom in particular, spend far more time concerned about whether or not Silas might go Night of the Hunter on them than they are as to whether their predicament might be astronomically worse than just some weirdo staying in the guest room.
The family members drive into town and find it abandoned. Gillian is alarmed. Tom brushes her concerns off with a baseless theory that the town must have been evacuated. They’re confronted by a menacing group of everyday Canadians. Tom makes idle chitchat with them before things turn violent. But does he ask them where everyone else is or what exactly is going on? Of course not. That’s what a logical person would do. Tom doesn’t even seem perplexed as to why these people turn violent for no particular reason. Silas will make a statement about their house once having belonged to his family; Tom laughs it off and waits a few scenes later to press him for more information. Tom goes back into town after dark to rummage through the abandoned police station in search of any information about Silas. Not once does Tom question where all the cops went or make any attempt to use this opportunity to try and find out what the hell is going on. Tom is an idiot.
Is the end of the world at hand? Where is everyone? Is it the rapture? Have they been left behind? If so, why them? Either way, what’s up with the handful of violent townspeople lurking about? Why is Luke Perry dressed like The Great Gatsby? So many questions that should be getting asked that don’t get asked because the script constantly downplays the bigger picture and has characters either not ask the pertinent questions at all or not until a much later more convenient time. Even when it comes to Silas, Tom and Gillian constantly pass up the appropriate follow-up question or insistence that he elaborate on certain statements he makes.
A pity the frustrating script keeps the otherwise solid cast playing dumb because there are instances of genuine intrigue that left me wondering where it was all headed and how it was going to resolve itself. What The Final Storm amounts to in the end is little more than a tepid Lifetime Network thriller about a rural family trapped with a potentially homicidal houseguest who may have his sights set on making the house and the wife his own set against the backdrop of biblical Armageddon with a final scene that will leave you speechless in ways only an Uwe Boll movie can.
2 out of 5
Discuss The Final Storm in our forums!