4 July 2003 | Maciste_Brother
Nothing memorable about it
THE FINAL TERROR is an average horror movie. There were a couple of startling moments (the scene when the couple gets hacked or the sudden ending) but the bulk of the movie is really dull. The atmosphere is almost worthwhile. Almost. You see, the film is not gruesome enough or sweat-inducing enough to push the atmosphere into the dread-filled nightmare that a story like this needs in order to be memorable. We see a lot of moments where the people just hang around the campfire and bitch about this and that. And when the group goes to the the dilapidated house, all dressed up like Rambo, what little edge the film had disappeared instantly with that unintentionally funny bit. The idea of the young men and women taking a pro-active stance against the killer, in one united group, is original for a horror movie of this type but it's badly done here.
The big problem with the movie is that it doesn't know what it wants to be. Something tells me the director didn't want to do just another horror movie. But every aspect of the movie is so weak that FINAL TERROR cannot overcome its horror trappings. The characters are almost nonexistent. Rachel Ward and the black girl have accents but where never told where they come from or how did they ever land in such a remote area. Because of this, and the fact that some actors are really miscast, there's very little credibility to the whole proceedings. It feels like the film was put together very quickly and with very little thought behind it.
The script is very weak. No characterization. No idea what to do with the dull bunch. No immediate sense of dread. We have no clue what's out there until the very end. And to make things even more annoying, the action often takes place at night and there are several moments when it's difficult to see what's going on. These dark scenes reminded me of HUMONGOUS. But unlike the underrated Canadian movie, FINAL TERROR's pitch black moments weren't deliberate. They were badly shot moments (made more confusing with the bad editing) which muddled up what little action there was in the story. The cinematography was excellent when there was light or the action took place during the day but the night time scenes, or even those scenes that took place in and around the cabin, were too dark for my taste.
The film gets interesting at the very end, but like many have pointed out already, the end is very sudden and abrupt. Too abrupt. The brief glimpse of the killer made me realize how dull and boring the young folks were. When a piece of walking rug with a knife is more interesting than the main characters of the movie, you know there's something wrong with the film.
But FINAL TERROR wasn't the worst film I've ever seen. Compared to DON'T GO IN THE WOODS, FINAL TERROR looks like a work of genius. It's just that there's very little going for it except for some beautiful scenery, one good murder scene, a creepy, under-used killer and a somewhat memorable (but sudden) ending.