Top Customer Reviews
I liked "Finale" so much that I did a little research, and found this very revealing comment by the director, John Elfer:
"My oldest brother hanged himself when I was 12, and my mother retreated into grief-stricken denial and paranoia, blaming his death on the planned sacrifice of a demonic cult. I wrote FINALE to face my demons, telling the story from her perspective.
My team landed grants from Kodak and Panavision, then set out for the post-industrial wasteland on the outskirts of my hometown, shooting in backwoods, abandoned houses, down dirt roads, crypt-like passages and cemeteries - desolate, haunting, forgotten places.
We ran through flames, blasted a prosthetic head with shotguns, got held up at gunpoint by police who mistook us for burglars, the FBI found our prop pipe-bombs and shut down the highway to blow them up.
We lived on location and worked without heat or running water in the dead of winter. I stunt-doubled for actors, even dressed in drag with my legs shaved.
I gave up all stability, even lived out of my car to see FINALE to completion. I took a leap of faith to chase my dreams - a trial by fire - and we passed."
Elfer's movie more than just 'passes.Read more ›
I fell in love with Finale in the first five minutes. It had all the elements that tend to make me spellbound: a daring visual aesthetic, a bleak and gritty atmosphere, a fine attention to detail, and most of all a level of professionalism that you only see in films that are made primarily for love.
There are strong religious themes at work here, there is committed acting, there is a lot of labor at play behind the scenes to create the notebooks of troubled young Sean Michaels, whose apparent suicide sets the film in motion.
This film is challenging. As with most really good narrative, Finale makes a solid attempt at solving the Gordian Knot of exposition; how to make the plot clear without spelling it out—a corollary to the storyteller's law of show don't tell. Because of that, the viewer has to pay attention, expect the plot to unfold in ways we're not accustomed to but which are nonetheless deeply rewarding.
I know that what I see as redeeming qualities in this film, many will see as faults, particularly when it comes to the quality of special effects and the adherence or lack thereof to traditional plot structure. But for those whose minds are primed to latch onto this film like mine are, you'll find yourself many a pleasant surpise.
That being said, let's make this quick and easy. The script is terrible-with a capital 'T'. The acting was poor-on everyone's part; just because you nail a line here or there, or pull off the right expression that is actually called for in the moment, that does not forgive an hour and a half of mostly missing the delivery. The story/theme/plot...well, I've seen some combination or another a dozen times. The only good things to come from this film? The director and the effects artist(s). The director has talent-that's obvious- interesting shots, a good eye for drama, but his vision is clearly too grand for the budget. The demon and the effects used to portray him, were actually impressive, and rightly creepy. These two things are about the only highlights of this film.
I will also add that college/high school kids make for a very boring focus of this film (adults make for the best occultists ). However, I bet any drama student with a "wannabe" obsession for the occult would love it!
All in all, I give one star for quality, but I award a second star for at least having the courage to not only make this film, but upon completion, having further courage to release it.
*Nothing personal, just thought it was a crap film.*
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm in agreement with the other reviewers who point out that this is well shot, and creatively directed. Read morePublished on August 18, 2013 by J Jackson
This movie grabbed me, then totally dropped me. The acting definitely could have been better. The plot was ok. Weird as well.Published on July 21, 2013 by Sable City
It's not that it is a bad movie. It's that it trys to be a good movie. In a nutshell this movie is boring. That death rattle you hear, its me snoring.Published on July 6, 2013 by Cherokee L. Schill
The plot was so-so, the acting and special effects were OK, but the ending was weird. All in all I found it boring.Published on June 28, 2013 by Michelle Lau
i didnt go into this movie with any great expectations, but i actually liked it. not filled with a lot of action, gore or sex for that matter, more psychological in nature.Published on May 27, 2013 by I. dittmaier
This isn't something I'd go to see at a cinema or theatre, but is fine for enjoying at home on a rainy night.Published on May 19, 2013 by Richard Crandon
I'd give it significantly less than one star if I could. Admittedly, I went in knowing it was going to be bad. I was looking forward to something to laugh at. I didn't. Read morePublished on May 10, 2013 by Elle Cee
Very well acted, and the characters make sense. The ending went on a little long. The ending is predictable, which isn't a bad thing in and of itself, but when you know what's... Read morePublished on April 27, 2013 by T. Farrell