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Finale

3.4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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(May 25, 2010)
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Editorial Reviews

Death is stalking a small town plagued with a rash of apparent suicides. But one grieving mother believes that there are darker forces at work and plunges herself into a supernatural nightmare to uncover her dead sons association with an evil cult. Her behavior grows increasingly paranoid and bizarre as she races against time to battle the terrifying demon unleashed to destroy her entire family in this atmospheric descent into horror.

Special Features

  • Deleted Scenes
  • The Making Of "FINALE" - A Trial By Fire
  • Trailer

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Carolyn Hauck, Suthi Picotte, Elizabeth Holmes, Steven Nieport, James Johnson
    • Directors: John Michael Elfers
    • Writers: John Michael Elfers
    • Producers: Ryan Stevens Harris, John Michael Elfers, Marisa Wahl, Michael Elkin
    • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
    • Language: English
    • Subtitles: English, Spanish
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated:
      Unrated
      Not Rated
    • Studio: Image Entertainment
    • DVD Release Date: May 25, 2010
    • Run Time: 93 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: B0038MUZ3Y
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,552 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "Finale" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    Format: DVD
    During the first few minutes of the film I thought to myself "this is going to be crap" -- it looked like it was going to be incompetent cheese like Argento's rather unfortunate "Mother of Tears" -- but I was pleasantly surprised. As the plot began to clarify itself, it wound up becoming an effective piece that was very moody and suspenseful. This is definitely a film for those who prefer a horror movie with a growing sense of dread over special effects and bodycounts. Enhancing the film's effectiveness, although it was obviously low budget, some (not all) of the performers, particularly the lead, were actually quite good. I was particularly impressed by the direction. It was filled with lots of creative shots and movement which helped maintain a tense mood throughout. Whenever the director got creative it worked, instead of coming off as self-conscious garbage like Crank. It reminded me of directors from the 70s who cared what the film looked like, like Jean Rollin before he began making crappy direct to video digital films, or for a more recent example, The Collector (which is a beautifully shot film whatever its faults). The locations and sets also really enhanced the mood. The one critique I have of the film (and it is a major one) is that I found the demon, as well as all of the people writhing around it, ridiculous (which is why the opening left me pessimistic). The less clearly you saw the demon (and his followers at the height of their orgies around the demon, or the raven girl), the better they worked. They should have been kept to glimpses. But maybe the director felt a bit of a need to cater to the limited tastes of those horror fans who require spectacle.
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    Format: Amazon Video
    I really liked this movie -- per the director, John Michael Elfer, "Finale" is something of an homage to movies like Dario Argento's 1977 "Suspiria," but there's a lot more going on here than just that. There are (and I think this is quite deliberate) elements here of a great many fine movies, not just the horror / giallo hybrids that Argento became famous for, but also Mario Bavo's gothic masterpieces, Clive Barker's better movies, and even Robert Wise's superb and still-scary 1963 film, "The Haunting."

    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 ›
    Comment 24 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
    I've been working on becoming a better reviewer the last few weeks, watching my favorite movies again, trying to see them through others' eyes, rewriting my reviews to make them more honest and focused on their worthiness to be or become cult films.

    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.
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    Format: Amazon Video
    I'd like to start by saying thanks to all you reviewers who marked this 3/5 and up. You really had me believing I would be missing out on the chance to watch a quality, low-budget film (yes, the two can exist simultaneously), instead...I feel compelled only to review this so that others don't fall into the same trap.

    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.*
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