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First and foremost is the outstanding cast. While there are moments that fall flat, overall we've got a very strong ensemble here that deftly inspires the requisite emotional response from the viewer. Justin Arnold in particular, as the bully Bradley, is one of the most rage inspiring characters I've seen in some time. He really makes you want to see this kid get his.
The direction is also very ably handled and keeps us visually interested even when an at times threadbare story line lets our attention drift. The middle section is particular is burdened with too much exposition, but the set and costume design, and an active, but not BOURNE-like camera keep us in to the goings on anyway.
One thing I particularly like about the flick is that it gives us ample time to get to know all of the players, pro- and antagonists. It's not often that a film gives this much set up, and makes it interesting. In fact, the one major flaw facing this work is that the set up is ultimately more involving than the payoff.
Once the horror really comes down there is plenty of blood and nastiness (although a surprising amount is handled off-screen) to keep gore hounds happy. But with such a promising beginning, I kind of felt let down by the rather pedestrian wrap up involving lots of running through woods, hard choices and increasingly awkward character interactions.
Still THE FINAL is well worth checking out and does enough right that you tend to forgive it when it loses its way towards the end.
Audio: English 5.1 Dolby Digital
Behind the Scenes: Not much going on here other than an unnamed camera man mugging with the cast and crew.
Deleted Scene: Not hard to see why.