Final Scream / Final Stab (2001)

Screengrabbed from DVD

My mother bought this from somewhere akin to a Poundland when I was about 15, thinking it was part of the Scream series. I looked at the cover dubiously and quickly decided it would probably be one of the worst films I had ever seen, but still, so not to disappoint my mother, I microwaved some popcorn and stuck it in the DVD player. From the very first scene I knew it was a bust and as time ticked on I can whole-heartedly say that my predictions were correct, it was God awful… so why do I love it so much then?

The premise is simple – Kristin, a real ‘Queen Bitch’ with classic lines such as “They all want to ride on my cocaine trail”, throws a surprise party for her sister Angela and her completely ‘schizo’ boyfriend Charlie to welcome them back in to her group of friends after they all fell out. Little does Angela know that Kristin is planning to test out her new murder mystery business venture on them. Everyone is in on the plan apart from Angela and Charlie, but one by one the group of friends is picked off by a real killer and the fear sets in as they realise it’s no longer a game.

Final Stab still screengrabbed from DVD

The plot itself is clearly nothing new and is really just an early noughties version of April Fool’s Day. It reminds me of a little film I created in college with a couple of mates in my film studies class to demonstrate different uses of camera angles and lighting techniques. Despite its budget appearance, it is a movie that has potential. Whilst it could never have been original, with a decent screenplay and better equipment, it could have coasted unnoticed through the vast sea of average slashers, but where’s the fun in that?

The killer (both the actor and the real killer) has a genuinely creepy mask which I do catch myself thinking about sometimes when I’m walking home alone in the dark, and a few good stalking scenes, but my favourite aspect of the entire movie is Kristin played my Erinn Carter. Without Kristin’s fabulously awful character I’m not sure I could have enjoyed it so much, or at all. She does a great job at portraying the bitchy character that everyone loves to hate and she delivers her hilariously bad lines with such smugness that you could not help but fall for her. The 90s midriff-revealing top and striking resemblance to Winona Ryder makes it all the more brilliant!

Final Stab still screengrabbed from DVD

I had seen this movie countless times and each time I never fail to be amused. I have also shown it to many friends over the years, some ‘proper’ horror fans and some not, and the selective few have even returned for repeat screenings. No, it’s not a good horror; the directing is poor, the writing is abysmal, the storyline is ripped off and the acting is beyond shocking. Hell, some reviewers have even hailed it the worst slasher ever made, and that’s no mean feat. It’s not a movie you can take seriously; it’s a movie you can watch with a bottle of wine (or something a little harder) and a few good friends whilst you laugh hysterically at the predictability of it all.

Check out the trailer:

Score: 333/666

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