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Film: The Final
"Ask yourself one question: 'What did I do to get here?'"
"Consequences. None of us are free from them."
Dane

"This lesson, you will not learn in school."
Emily

Very loosely based on actual events, The Final is a 2010 horror film about a group of high school outcasts who lure their tormentors to a party, drug them, and exact their vengeance upon them.

After being continuously bullied throughout High School, and having all attempts at peace-making being met with laughs, Dane and his friends (Emily, Jack, Ravi and Andy) concoct a plan to not only get revenge, but to also send a message to the entire country. After learning in class about deadly chemicals and the torture methods of cultures past, and gaining inspiration from their vast collection of horror films, the desperate teens set up the Workley ranch house with webcams and create a party, inviting all of their bullies to attend. The five then pray to God to give them a sign to stop them, and when none comes, they carry out their plan.

At the party, the five outcasts dress up in funny costumes that mask their identity, and serve spiked punch to their victims, knocking them unconscious. The five then change costume, creating a darker visage to wear as their persona. The guests awaken in chains, and Dane tells them that, for the years they spent abusing students that they saw as weak and helpless, they would pay for their sins: the bullies would not die, but by the end of the night, they will wish that they had.

The film was part of the After Dark Horrorfest film festival.


This film contains examples of:

  • Aborted Arc: When the outcasts are setting up their torture chamber, they mention how they are rigging the place with webcams in order to send a message to high school students all across the country. This is never brought up again. The filmmakers planned on following up on this in the sequel, but it's since fallen into Development Hell.
  • Alpha Bitch/Girl Posse: Kelly, Bridget and Heather.
  • And I Must Scream: Bernard is drugged so that he cannot move but can feel everything. Then, Emily sticks him in the throat with needle after needle, despite the desperate cries of his friends to stop. All the while, she remains completely silent.
  • Asshole Victim: The bullies.
  • Badass Adorable: Emily.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Yet it's debatable who is the real bad guy.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Viciously averted.
  • Beauty to Beast: Bridget and Heather get messed up by Emily's chemicals.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: The five make sure only to torture people who hurt them, although they force others to watch.
    • They also try to prevent Kurtis from coming in the first place, since he was their friend.
    • Emily genuinely doesn't want to hurt Bridget after she sincerely apologizes for her bullying, though she hurts Bridget anyway after Bridget refuses to torture Bradley.
    • Near the end, Dane tells Riggs that he wasn't tortured because, back in sophomore year, Riggs had offered to drive Dane home on a rainy night. However, Dane changes his mind when Riggs insults him to his face, only stopping because Kurtis just came back to kill him.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Before years of abuse warped them, the five were (and still are, to some extent) really nice kids. And Emily genuinely just wanted to be friends with the popular girls.
    Emily: "I wanted to be your friend. But now I'm going to be your enemy."
  • Black and Gray Morality: There are no good guys. Only varying levels of badness. (Except Kurtis.)
  • Black Dude Dies First: Averted. Kurtis not only survives the entire movie, but also saves the day by calling the cops.
    • Played straight, however, with Ravi, the Token Minority among the outcasts. He is the first one of them to die, having been killed by Dane for freeing Kurtis.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Kelly, Heather, and Bridget.
  • Blond Guys Are Evil: Bradley is indeed evil. And kinda pathetic too.
  • Break the Haughty: The goal of the outcasts. The vain Alpha Bitch and her Girl Posse have flesh-eating chemicals slathered onto their faces to destroy their good looks and make them as ugly on the outside as they are inside, while a womanizing Jerk Jock is left paralyzed so that he will never play football or have sex again.
  • Bully Hunter: The five outcasts. At first.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Dane sees Bradley as the face of all that is wrong with the world, while Bradley sees Dane as just another faceless victim in the crowd.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: The outcasts' stock in trade.
  • Corrupt Hick: The Dirty Cop who seizes the jocks' weed for his own personal use. Later, Kurtis gets the police to head to the ranch where the outcasts are carrying out their torture by telling the police that the ranch was being robbed by black people.
  • Crazy Survivalist: Parker, the ex-army guy.
  • Cruel Mercy: The outcasts left their victims alive... but with many wishing that they weren't.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: Bradley and his friends narrowly avoid getting busted for drugs, only to arrive at a party where they will be horribly mutilated. It's actually a moment of horror when the cop says he will let them go, as the audience know what awaits them.
    • Additionally, the ultimate ending shows the "message" the kids wanted to send falling on deaf ears, with a reporter describing the bullied kids as "disgruntled students" who tortured their fellow students "without cause".
  • Dark and Troubled Past: The five have trouble both at home and at school.
  • Death by Irony:
    • Parker, the Vietnam veteran, winds up getting hit by a punji stake trap — exactly the kind once used by the Vietcong. However, he manages to crawl away from it and kill two of the guards, and his ultimate fate is uncertain.
    • While not "death," most of the tortures inflicted by the outcasts have some relevance to their victims. See Break the Haughty for examples.
  • Death by Racism: Again, not actually "death," but the bulk of the jocks' interaction with the Indian kid Ravi consists of extremely racist remarks.
  • Dirty Cop: The police officer lets the jocks go in exchange for them handing over all their weed... which he is later seen smoking. A deleted scene reveals that he does the same thing for any good-looking women he pulls over, in exchange for sex.
  • Dirty Coward:
    • Bradley. Acts tough early in the movie, and goes to the party dressed as a Roman centurion, but once the "party" gets going, he whines constantly, and rather pathetically. When given the chance to save himself pain by cutting off Bridget's fingers, he accepts pretty quickly... right after Bridget refused to do the same to him.
    • Parker sees himself as this, feeling that he had dishonored himself in Vietnam by running away and letting his squadmates get killed.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Cold-Blooded Torture and mutilation as a punishment for bullying.
  • Downer Ending: All of the outcasts die, but not before mutilating several victims, leaving the whole town in mourning. And to make it worse, everyone in the town more or less missed the point of the whole thing, painting the entire affair as being completely unprovoked and portraying the victims as saint-like.
    • But the kids who survived, maimed or otherwise, know why it happened. People talk - especially in high school. It might not have had a national effect or became the "moment in history" Dane believed it would be, but if the victims change their behavior and their children's behavior, that's a significant amount right there, not taking into account the Urban Legend effect and the open secret environment of many small to medium size towns — when everyone knows why something really happened despite what outsiders and the media may report. A perfect example is to remember how the movie starts and ends — with the mother telling her curious son about the disfigured girl's "accident".
      • Fridge Brilliance: The parents of bullies never know that their little angels are putting other kids through hell. The teachers frequently only catch the reaction, not what the bully did first.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Dane does this when Bradley calls him a coward for "hiding" behind a mask. Soon after, the rest do this and introduce themselves once Emily realizes that Bridget knows who she is.
  • Dressing as the Enemy: The five dress in costumes in order to walk about the party unnoticed, until the time is right.
  • Driven to Suicide/Redemption Equals Death: Kelly. See Survivor Guilt.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Almost all of the outcasts come from families that are broken one way or the other.
  • Emotionless Girl: Emily. Until Ravi is killed, that is. Then she goes right back to this.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Dane's mask contains a voice amplifier makes his voice sound far more baritone and creepy.
  • Evil Versus Evil: The five versus the bullies.
  • Faceless Goons: There are actually eight outcasts, but only five are of any importance to the plot, are named and actually shown planning their revenge. The other three only exist to get killed by Parker. They were initially seen on the school steps, and their presence was meant to prevent the victims from leaving and to confuse police officers when the plan was over, but time constraints forced this subplot to be mostly removed bar a few lines of dialogue.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: The five mutilate and torture their tormentors, disfiguring them and causing them unspeakable harm.
  • Faux Affably Evil: The bullies often act friendly to make their abuse more devastating, especially the girls who bully Emily. This is later used to creepy effect by Dane when he politely tells the bullies what horrors are in store for them.
  • Fingore: Emily offers Bridget one chance to avoid pain: cut off all of Bradley's fingers in exchange for her own safety. When she refuses, Emily offers the same deal in reverse to Bradley, who accepts.
  • For the Evulz: Bradley bullied Dane simply because he knew that Dane could not stop him. The same applies for most of the other bullies who just enjoyed being sadists.
  • Forced to Watch: All but one of the five's victims was brutally tortured in front of their friends.
  • Foreshadowing: A little example, but in the scene where Bernard throws milk at the outcasts' table, Bridget has quite a different expression on her face than the others, looking unimpressed at the stunt while the others are laughing.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: The five were just simple high school students who never meant harm at first, but years of abuse destroyed them. Bradley even held Dane, whose life he made miserable, in such low regard that he never even learned his name. Summarized by Dane who says that he would have just been another harmless teenager had it not been for the abuse inflicted on him.
  • Genre Deconstruction: Of the "unpopular kids get revenge on the bullies" plot, and the "psycho classmate" plot. Instead of the comical revenge that so many teen movie protagonists desire, the outcasts wish to make their bullies suffer the way that they made the outcasts suffer for so many years. It's also implied that the outcasts were (and, to a degree, still are) genuinely nice people whose crappy home lives, combined with years of bullying, turned them into such dark characters, as seen with the way they treat Kurtis. In addition, the popular kids (especially Bridget) are shown to have shades of gray, rather than portraying them as the total jerkasses so commonly seen in teen movies.
    • It also shows how devastatingly traumatic surviving an elaborate torture would be as seen by the victims' fates. One is even driven to suicide over her guilt in making people do what they did.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Worn by Emily during the torture session.
  • Give Me a Sign: The five pray to God to give them a sign that they should stop. He doesn't.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Surprisingly for a film of this nature, there is little to no blood, with most of the violence being off-screen and suggested. However, it works.
  • The Grotesque: Bridget and Heather get turned into this by Emily.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: The five become worse than their tormentors on their quest for vengeance.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Emily's torture outfit includes a black leather smock.
  • High School: Where the first act is set.
  • How We Got Here: The film opens with one of the victims (Bridget) in a diner, her face horribly disfigured, with her fellow patrons all staring at her like a freak.
  • I Gave My Word: Dane promised that he would not kill a single one of the bullies. He keeps his promise, though given how he does everything short of killing them, many probably wish he hadn't.
  • Ironic Echo:
  • It's a Costume Party, I Swear: Well, it started out as a costume party...
  • Jerk Jock: Bradley and his friends Bernard and Miles.
  • Kids Are Cruel: The bullies are mean just because they are. And, of course, there's the outcasts...
  • Lecture As Exposition: The film opens with a high school history teacher describing how the Han Dynasty would sometimes leave their defeated enemies alive, disfiguring them in order to serve as an example to those who would oppose them. Another lecture in a science class not long after shows where Emily learns about the flesh-eating chemicals that she uses on Bridget and Heather.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The outcasts.
  • Monster Clown: Ravi's second costume.
  • Moral Myopia: Bridget, who had no issue heaping psychological abuse on Emily for years, refuses to torture Bradley, a fellow bully. This enrages Emily and the rest even more.
  • Nasty Party
  • Nice Guy: Kurtis tried his best to be friends to everybody, and defended Ravi from Bradley. As a result, the five try (and fail) to keep him from coming to their "party."
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Despite the film taking place in Texas, Marc Donato makes little effort to hide his Canadian accent, dropping several "aboots" over the course of the film.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: The five outcasts punish psychological and emotional torture with physical torture.
  • Putting on the Reich: Andy's torture outfit is an SS uniform.
  • Revenge: The outcasts' plan and motives.
  • Say My Name: Near the end, Dane has Bradley strapped to a chair and tells him to say his name. Dane is shocked to learn that, despite Bradley bullying him for years, Bradley does not even know his name.
  • Scary Scarecrows: Jack wears a scarecrow costume as his torture outfit.
  • School Bullying Is Harmless: If there's a bigger subversion out there, good luck finding it.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Jack plays upbeat banjo music Bernard and Heather are being tortured.
  • Shout-Out: Emily's outfit, and the scene where she tortures the Jerk Jock Bernard, are big ones for Audition. If one listens closely, she even says "deeper, deeper" as she drives the first needle into Bernard's neck.
  • Suicide Pact: Dane claims that the five of them had never intended to live past the night.
  • Survivor Guilt: At the end, Kelly, having escaped torture and feeling that her behavior was at least partly responsible for what happened, is seen taking a bunch of pills in order to kill herself.
  • Title Drop: "Think of this as.... the final. And there's only one question: What did I do to deserve this?"
  • To the Pain: Dane loves telling his tormentors how much they will hurt.
  • Token Minority: Ravi.
  • Torture Cellar: The Workley ranch house, which was left to Dane in his uncle's will.
  • True Companions: The five are a rather creepy version of this as, with the exception of Dane, They all seem to care about each other, even if they were brought together by revenge. Jack and Emily even share a very sincere hug before committing suicide.
  • Valley Girl: Again, the Girl Posse.
  • The Vietnam War: While running away, Kurtis seeks help from Parker, a veteran of Vietnam.
  • Villain Protagonist: The five.
  • With Friends Like These...: The bullies to each other. Dane takes advantage of this to reveal their disloyal natures each other.
    Dane: (about Tommy) "Pathetic, isn't it? So sweet, and so much love. Not when you consider he was cheating on you, Nadia. With Heather. Yep. Yeah, everybody knew about it, but they decided to laugh at you behind your back. Taking joy in your ignorance.... Interesting friends.''
  • With Us or Against Us
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Although the five outcasts themselves don't really goes on a rampage, they just only want to torture the bullies.
  • Worthy Opponent: At the end, when Kurtis returns to stop Dane, Dane tells him that he wishes there were more people like him.
  • You Have Failed Me: Dane murders Ravi after he intentionally drops a key in order to free Kurtis, one of their friends that they hadn't intended to arrive, despite Dane telling him that Kurtis was not to leave.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Heather is asked about her having sex with Tommy, the boyfriend of a girl named Nadia, after an illicit text is read from her phone by one of the other members of the Girl Posse. While she is called out on it later in front of Nadia, it doesn't have any real importance to the plot. It mainly exists to show her as being just another asshole.

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alternative title(s): The Final
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