Final, The (2010)

The FinalReviewed by Scott A. Johnson

Starring Marc Donato, Jascha Washington, Witney Hoy, Justin Arnold, Travis Tedford, Julin, Lindsay Seidel

Directed by Joey Stewart

Distributed by After Dark Films and Lionsgate Home Entertainment

Nerds and outcasts take a lot of flack from the popular folks for no other reason than they're different. And for as long as they've been abused, there have been movies about them getting revenge. But instead of panty raids and hidden cameras a la Revenge of the Nerds, imagine what would've happened if the nerds were just a little more demented, if they had been pushed just a little too far. What would it be like if the popular kids really got their comeuppance?

The Final is the story of one such group of misfits pushed too far. They plan an elaborate costume party, drug the guests, and take out their revenge to teach them all lessons. Of course, those lessons must be painful and horrifying, but they need to be taught it seems.

While the film itself is the kind that makes people laugh nervously as it overstates its point, what makes this movie so well done is not only the actors involved, but the extreme level to which they go. Seriously, who hasn't been picked on by the school's ace jock? Or mocked by the flirty-slut-popular girls? And wouldn't it be great to, oh...maybe cut off the jock's fingers so he can't play football? Disfigure a bitch because she deserves it?

While the ringleader of the group, Dane, does get a bit super-villainy and monologues throughout the whole thing, preaching about how wronged he was and how they turned him into a monster, it is surprisingly effective in this setting. However, the show is stolen, lock stock and barrel, by Lindsay Seidel, who plays the cute and demented Emily. When she's on the screen, there's a whole lot of spooky going on, and I mean that in a good way.

One reason why The Final rings so haunting is because of tragedies like Columbine, where the people who thought they were slighted decided to seek revenge. This film is the logical progression, showing just what can happen when someone is pushed too far.

4 out of 5

Discuss The Final in our forums!


Terminal's picture

"The Final" is an excellent film that will bring in controversy no matter where it goes.

I sympathized with the leads. Until you've been tortured in school you have no fucking clue what these characters feel like. You know what it's like to nearly vomit going in to your school wondering what torture you're going to receive? You know what it's like praying to god that your tormentors won't show up to school to grant you one day of peace? You know what it's like to be utterly humiliated in front of the people you thought were your friends?

I think I owe Scott an apology, because after watching the movie I see what he was doing and I think everyone here was too quick to judge him.

You can't honestly watch this movie and not feel for the characters and root them on even a little bit. Because I know what real bullying is like. It's painful, it's horrifying, and most of all it beats you down to a pulp.
"We are bad guys. That means we've got more to do other than bullying companies. It's fun to lead a bad man's life."

Submitted by Terminal on Sun, 04/04/2010 - 8:46am.
frank_dracman's picture

Wow. I can never tell what's going to be the cause of the next dramatic uproar around here. These pages of posts are brought to you by the word "bitch". This is so gay...I mean, stupid. >_>

Submitted by frank_dracman on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 8:23pm.
moderator I'm with ya, man. It's
Steve Barton's picture

I'm with ya, man. It's always surprising what people react to. Still, they react because they're so passionate about what they love and that's never a bad thing.

Submitted by Steve Barton on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 8:36pm.
Terminal's picture

Dude, stop being such a fag, I mean bender.

You have to admit though this is the biggest post session that's been on this site in weeks.

"We are bad guys. That means we've got more to do other than bullying companies. It's fun to lead a bad man's life."

Submitted by Terminal on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 8:32pm.
Terminal's picture

I love the horror geeks who get offended for the words bitch and cutting people's fingers off but cream themselves over more death and gore in the next Final Destination movie. This is why horror is my passion.

Submitted by Terminal on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 7:35pm.

Since apparently I started this shit-storm I figure I should at least respond.

No, I don't get off on death in films. It's something I'm attracted towards as subject matter but not something I actively enjoy. I don't like when a character gets killed. I don't cheer for Jason to hack and slash. I loathe screenwriters and directors today because most actively set up characters we're supposed to want to die. That's terrible and manipulative.

I do enjoy horror because it examines the darker side of human nature. It's why I'm also attracted to writers like Cormac McCarthy, a writer whose work is far gorier and far, far more violent than any horror movie I've ever witnessed. I don't revel or wallow in the descriptive nature of the death or murder or depravity, and neither does he. Each character he writes is treated with depth and their eventual death isn't some cheap form of entertainment.

That's my problem with this review -- it revels in the depravity. Many have tried to "explain" that he is writing that portion of the review from the characters' perspective but this is clearly false. The sentence is structured to ask the reader of this review if they identify with such fantasies with the implication that writer has; it's coming from his perspective as an outside observer. Worse yet, it revels in the notion with the use of its language. He even prefaces the two controversial statements by pointing out how great they'd be. It things like this that paint a terrible picture of an already misunderstood audience (horror fans) and is one of the reasons why we have to continually defend ourselves which is what I was getting at with the troglodyte comment.

And to be honest, I have no problem with the subject matter of the film. I'm not sensitive over the school shooting subject. Of all the films this year, it's the one that I'm most interested to see because of its subject matter. My concern was with the review, not the film.

Submitted by AngryChairr on Tue, 03/23/2010 - 1:45am.
Terminal's picture

I'm in agreement with both sides of the issue. While I agree people got too offended too easily, I also agree that the reviewer tends to revel in the concept of torturing and mutilating the people who would pick on you. Again I've been bullied to the point where I've dreamed of sticking it to my tormentors, but I wouldn't giggle at the chance of actually engaging in it. Whatever connection the reviewer hoped to accomplish, it obviously failed in the long run. It's those types of lines in reviews that DO depict horror fans as the blood loving low lives we're stereotyped as.

"We are bad guys. That means we've got more to do other than bullying companies. It's fun to lead a bad man's life."

Submitted by Terminal on Tue, 03/23/2010 - 2:05am.

You seem to be missing the boat on this one, U.C. - The word bitch was chosen not to describe any specific person but as a general replacement for the word woman. This has nothing to do with gore, murder or being PC, just simple identification. Do you use nigger instead of black? Fag instead of gay? If so, then let's just agree to disagree buddy. And I applaud The Woman In Black for letting comments roll off her back but it has nothing to do with Scott's review. When did words get so much power? Really? Say that to any lawyer, clergyman, novelist or screenwriter. Anyway, go ahead and hit me back, I've said my piece and please have the last word.

Submitted by Berman on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 5:26pm.
Cinemascribe's picture

I would be more concerned if Scott had used the word woman, becuase that would be an all encompassing generalization. By phrasing the sentence the way he did, he was qualifying it as being something that a person in a vengeful state of mind would think. The manner in which he employs the term "bitch" in this paragraph indicates that it was referring to a specific personality type who hurt/humiliated the individual having the thought. Or -as The Woman in Black put it - he was saying who hasn't thought of disfiguring a specific type of this instance a woman who, because of her vanity and cruelty to others based on that vanity, is considered by the person having the murderous thoughts to be a bitch.

I'm not "friends" with any of the writers here (though I am a fan) and I don't know them personally. This is simply how the article came across to me, so I'm offering a counter point. Honestly, I think this was blown waa-aay out of proportion.

The reality is that horror is a genre replete with such challenging concepts. It is not for PC adherents or the faint of heart. It is not neat and tidy. It's often a blood splattered question mark with brutally honest answers that we don't necessarily want to hear, but need to hear. For anyone who can't handle that, there are an abundance of macrame courses worldwide which would be happy to have them.

"I'm saying that I'm an insect who dreamt he was a man...and loved it. But now the dream is over..and the insect is awake." - Seth Brundle

Submitted by Cinemascribe on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 11:45pm.
moderator You're the one missing the
Debi Moore's picture

You're the one missing the boat. The use of "a bitch" did indeed refer to specific people ... the "flirty-slut-popular girls" who were characters in a freakin' movie. Not all or any of the women in Scott's real life. Sheesh!

And has anyone contributing to this thread even seen the movie they're going on and on about? It might help raise the level of the discourse a bit if everyone knew what Scott was referring to in the first place.

Submitted by Debi Moore on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 6:18pm.

I just read through all the comments again: Where does anyone write that Scott uses "disfigure a bitch" to refer to anyone in his life? And no, the line you draw isn't clear. It seems like you're friends with Scott, so you would definitely have better insight than the rest of us. And yes, I saw the movie and it is a fair revenge flick at best, but man, the acting was awful!
Don't blame everyone else for Scott's review. The angry reactions aren't because of any inferences or vagaries but what he actually wrote.

Submitted by Berman on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 6:31pm.
moderator It's insinuated throughout
Steve Barton's picture

It's insinuated throughout certain comments that Scott seems to think its okay to "disfigure a bitch", and that that was the gist of his review, when it simply just wasn't. There's your "real life" connection.

Submitted by Steve Barton on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 6:36pm.
moderator Semantics, dude. The bottom
Steve Barton's picture

Semantics, dude. The bottom line is this ... kids killing other kids is an evocative subject. One that easily causes a knee-jerk reaction. No rational person ever condones real violence of any kind as being the answer. The fact is we live in emotional times in which people think more with their hearts instead of their heads.

In the end sex, sexual preference, race, creed, or whatever doesn't really matter. For my money there are only two types of people in this world - those who are alright or complete fuckin' assholes.

Submitted by Steve Barton on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 5:54pm.

It would have been great if you could have just stayed on topic and maybe even understood the definition of semantics before you responded. So, there are only two types of people in this world? Everything's black and white? People either get you or they don't? I hope you're still in your 20's because if you're older than that; life must be pretty sad for you. Then again, the problem may just be with me. I just want reviews and news that isn't littered with issues from self-righteous, angry, little boy-men. Oh wait, here's one: And that only took 10 seconds to find. Later. Peace.

Submitted by Berman on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 6:14pm.
moderator Ummm ... okay? I have no
Steve Barton's picture

Ummm ... okay? I have no problem with you or anyone else, man. I just consider people to be people. There are those who you like and those who you don't. What they are is irrelevant. It really boils down to who they are. Good or bad. Sorry if you don't get that or you disagree.

Submitted by Steve Barton on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 6:32pm.
nonserviam03's picture

Wow, people read waaaaay too far into this review.

Either way, the premise sounds solid so this is one of the after dark horrorfest films I'll be checking out.

Submitted by nonserviam03 on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 12:19pm.
moderator Since I wrote the review, I
Sifu Scott's picture

Since I wrote the review, I think I should address everyone's issues...
First off, Cinemascribe and Uncle Creepy are correct. I was referencing things that happened in the film. As to horror fans being thought of as mouth-breathing troglodytes, good, if cruel and grostequely overgeneralized, word use. I referred to the darkness in the characters, plain and simple. The dark side of man is well evidenced by all the atrocities committed by and on us. However, thoughts like the one above are not necessarily unhealthy. What is unhealthy is the desire to act upon them. Look at the works of Stephen King, Jack Ketchum, Clive Barker, Richard Matheson, Oingo Boingo, Marilyn Manson, Korn, and most every other artist in the world and you'll see something that, I'm quite certain, disturbs and offends someone. For those people, I suggest that to grow a sense of humor might be the best course of action.

No. I don't think it's a good idea to disfigure a woman (or any other person regardless of gender) for any reason.

This review obviously opens up a lot of painful memories for a lot of people...

Submitted by Sifu Scott on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 9:33am.


Yes, I think it's pretty fair to say that anyone who reads this website understands and appreciates the misanthropic and macabre and isn't the least beat squeamish. What people are taking issue with is that you chose to write "disfigure a bitch" not "disfigure a woman" as you know state in your defense. I'm sure you're not misogynistic in any way but were simply aligning your writing with a character's voice in the film, but still... Do you get why you pissed off so many people? Hey, I'm the first one to cheer when Carrie sets the prom ablaze but the words, Scott, it's all in the words.

Submitted by Berman on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 4:01pm.
moderator Soooo...The joke "Is Wayne
Sifu Scott's picture

Soooo...The joke "Is Wayne Brady gonna have to choke a bitch?" isn't funny? Or "I'm Rick James, bitch" should never again be uttered?

Submitted by Sifu Scott on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 5:13pm.

Oh, I didn't realize you were making a joke. In that case, "disfigure a bitch" is a fucking riot. Instead of being so defensive, just grow up. Listen to the guy who said you need therapy.

Submitted by Berman on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 5:45pm.
moderator So wait ... it's okay to
Steve Barton's picture

So wait ... it's okay to watch and love movies in which all genders are murdered and mutilated for our amusement but referring to someone a "bitch" instead of a "woman" -- or even a "man" for that matter -- is going too far? Really?

How I sometimes miss the less politically correct days of the Seventies and Eighties. LOL

Submitted by Steve Barton on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 4:41pm.
moderator I don't when -- or why --
Debi Moore's picture

I don't when -- or why -- words have gained such power in this world. I grew up believing sticks and stones can break my bones but words (or names) can never hurt me. I still believe that and live my life accordingly. Call me a bitch, call me a cunt, call me whatever ... it rolls off my back. If other people felt the same, maybe we'd have a lot less stress and conflict.

Submitted by Debi Moore on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 4:12pm.
moderator People ... Methinks you're
Steve Barton's picture

People ... Methinks you're reading into the sentence a bit too much. Scott's referring to the things that happen within the film and the extreme and ludicrous lengths that it goes to. Hence it "overstating its points". Just a bit of sarcasm. nothing more.

Besides can anyone honestly say that when you were a teenager and someone was fucking with you -- be it a guy or a girl -- we just turned the other cheek and wished them well? No one's ever thought something to the effect of "Drop Dead"? That's what this flick is all about to the tenth power.

Controversial? Somewhat. Taken to a silly and unbelievable level? Who knows there really are some sick folks out there.

Submitted by Steve Barton on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 2:35am.
Cinemascribe's picture

I'm going to play devils' advocate here and suggest that Scott wasn't trying to say that he specifically wants to cut off someone's fingers or disfigure a woman. I dunno, the way it came across to me was as an attempt to articulate in type what the victims of bullies have undoubtedly thought during (or in the immediate aftermath) of an incident where they are physically roughed up, humiliated or insulted (or all three at once) by the jock, pretty, popular girl, etc etc. Let's face it, no sixteen year old kid with a scrawny build, thick Coke-bottle bottom glasses and a frightening case of acne has ever come away from a nasty run in with the school bullies and thought to his/herself ":Oh golly gee willikers..what a bad person! He's a real mean guy!" Please. Inside all of us is a dark side and, whether you want to acknowledge it or not, I'd bet that if any of you posting the comments deriding Scott here were ever treated with the viciousness bullies often inflict on their targets, in the seconds or minutes following the encounter somewhere in your mind you imagined how thrilling it would be to see that person come to some grievous bodily harm in retribution for what they had done , preferably at your own hands. What separates us from assholes like the Columbine murderers is that we don't actually act on it. But that doesn't mean the thoughts weren't there to begin with at some point,even if it was only for a brief moment. Good review, Scott.
"I'm saying that I'm an insect who dreamt he was a man...and loved it. But now the dream is over..and the insect is awake." - Seth Brundle

Submitted by Cinemascribe on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 2:32am.
Terminal's picture

Actually I somewhat agreed with the review. I have been viciously bullied and on more than one occasion threatened to kill people and even considered bringing a knife to school to cut some people for picking on me.

No one can ever judge until they've been bullied and humiliated in front of crowds and teachers who don't do a goddamn thing to help you.

I wouldn't wish that on anyone. You can't turn to anyone, and no matter what you do you get in deeper and deeper.

Submitted by Terminal on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 2:55am.
moderator EXACTLY! LOL
Steve Barton's picture


Submitted by Steve Barton on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 2:39am.
PelusaMG's picture

"Disfigure a bitch because she deserves it?"... Really? Have you seen what some people have done to women, who they believe deserve to be disfigured? This is former model Katie Piper...


And this is what happened to her...


Still believe people should "Disfigure a bitch because she deserves it?"... :(

Submitted by PelusaMG on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 1:34am.
Spaceshark's picture

Seriously? I was bullied in HS too you know. For all of three days before I decided to hit back. How about standing up for yourself instead of fantasizing about disfiguring the people who shoved you in your locker?

Submitted by Spaceshark on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 12:30am.
Terminal's picture

That's a nice thought for other people it's not always that easy.

Submitted by Terminal on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 1:13am.
Spaceshark's picture

Just speaking out of personal experience. Bullies see someone take abuse and do nothing then they have no reason to stop.

Submitted by Spaceshark on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 4:45am.

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