The Finale (2023) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

The Finale (2023) Review

Horrorific content by adrian on September 06th, 2023 | Movie Review | Slasher, Survival, Drama, Killer, Gore, Maniac

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It's about Sagan Riley, a triple threat who has her sights set on Broadway, but must survive rehearsal and discover a mysterious killer after she’s accepted to the legendary and enigmatic Stage Left Theater Camp.

The Finale was directed by Christie Vela and stars Gabrielle ReyesMadison CalhounKenneisha Thompson (The Inhabitant), Parker Davis GrayLiza Marie GonzalezGrace MontieJeffrey SchmidtBrandon PotterBlake Hackler, and Carson Wright.

The Finale Review

In teenage drama and suspenseful horror, "The Finale" takes an unexpected twist, offering a refreshing narrative that transcends the typical slasher genre. This gripping tale revolves around eight talented young individuals, each with unique dreams and aspirations, as they embark on self-discovery and creativity.

The story starts by introducing us to the eclectic mix of characters chosen from all corners of the country to participate in an exclusive and exorbitantly priced acting workshop. Among them are Gabrielle Reyes, Tex Patrello, Ania Lyns, Edgar Flores, Parker Davis Gray, and Isa Flores. Their mission? To collaborate under the tutelage of director Margo, portrayed by the talented Liza Marie Gonzalez; acting teacher Bernard, brought to life by Brandon Potter; choreographer Charles, played by Joel Ferrell; singing coach Steph, embodied by Madison Calhoun, and the ever-busy floor manager Lindsey, portrayed by Kenneisha Thompson.

The stage was set for an unforgettable experience, a chance to create something magical within the confines of their two-week workshop. However, the head of operations, Jeffrey Schmidt, was conspicuously absent, citing a trumped-up excuse. Little did they know, his absence would send ripples through the workshop, and his mysterious departure would become a focal point of intrigue.

As the workshop begins, the initial atmosphere is electric with excitement and camaraderie. However, tensions simmer beneath the surface, typical of any gathering of artistic minds. The students clash with the teachers, and rivalries emerge among the participants. Even the instructors find themselves at odds with each other; amidst this backdrop of creative chaos, unexpected romance blooms between the workshop's starlet and lead actress, Sagan, and the enigmatic lead singer, Nixon.

Yet, beneath the harmonious facade, a sinister undercurrent begins to surface. One fateful night, Bernard, the acting teacher, attempts a horrifying act against Sagan, leading to a harrowing escape by the trained dancer. Meanwhile, the same night, a masked maniac claims the life of Charles, the workshop's choreographer. The arrival of two dedicated and tenacious cops, Christie Vela and Michael Federico sets the stage for a tense investigation.

The intrigue deepens as the detectives focus on Bernard as the prime suspect. Delving into his past, they uncover a disturbing pattern of exploiting young, innocent actresses. Shockingly, it becomes evident that many within the workshop were aware of Bernard's predatory behavior. But before justice can be served, Charles manages to evade capture, setting off a series of mysterious and gruesome deaths among the workshop's staff and students.

What sets "The Finale" apart from the typical slasher film is its ability to craft a compelling narrative within the framework of a chilling horror story. The film seamlessly weaves together its characters' lives, dreams, and struggles, providing a solid foundation for the unfolding mayhem. The workshop's dynamics serve as a backdrop that engages in its own right, even before it becomes a critical element of the killer's backstory.

Moreover, the film dares to address pertinent social issues, delivering a mighty #MeToo message that resonates with contemporary audiences. It sheds light on the pervasive problem of exploitation within the entertainment industry and the collaboration of those who remain silent.

The characters in "The Finale" are brought to life with depth and complexity. Each has a distinct and vibrant personality, making them relatable and memorable. Notably, Michael Federico and Christie Vela, portraying the investigating cops, inject just the right amount of humor and fun into the story without veering into absurdity or forced comedy.

For fans of the slasher genre, this film does not disappoint in terms of creative and impactful violence. The gruesome scenes are designed to shock and captivate, adding a layer of intensity and excitement to the narrative.

Worth Watching?

In conclusion, "The Finale" is a well-rounded piece of genre entertainment that defies conventions and offers a thought-provoking experience. It successfully combines the elements of horror, drama, social commentary, and suspense, resulting in an engaging and relevant film. With its compelling characters and unexpected twists, this movie leaves a lasting impression, reminding us that even within the darkest stories, there is room for depth and meaning.

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