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Finale - Blockbuster Print E-mail
User Rating: / 1
Written by Jay Creepy   
Wednesday, 15 May 2019


Severed Cinema review of Finale!

Directed by: Soren Juul Petersen
Written by: Carsten Juul Bladt, Steen Langstrup, Soren Juul Petersen
Produced by: Jacob Kondrup, Soren Juul Petersen, Nicholas Barbano
Cinematography by: Tobias Scavenius
Editing by: Jacob Kondrup
Special Effects by: Christoffer Kondrup, Romina Alarez, Martin Hansen, Christine Scheel Kvint
Music by: Peter K Norgaad, Salem and others
Cast: Anne Bergfeld, Damon Younger, Karin Michelsen, Kim Sonderholm, Mads Koudal, Kristoffer Fabricius, Gustav Scavenius.
Year: 2018
Country: Denmark
Language: Danish/German/English (with subtitles)
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 39min

Studio: Blockbuster

Sorry, but was that introduction some sort of in-joke at the expense of viewers? Did it really, I mean, did it really seem like a good idea? Perhaps a throwback to the light comedy intros to some films around the 1930s (Tod Slaughter melodramas spring to mind). It annoyed the hell out of me. Patronizing and just not funny. Meh, am I in a bad mood? Well, yes and no. Now I've seen those first couple of minutes, but I'll forgive all if the movie changes up.

Yeah, I am rarely critical without good reason, but having a bonehead warn everyone to what awaits as if about to draw the curtains up on a ghastly Grand Guignol show, I can see the point, I suppose, due to the later stages of the film, but I feel it was ill judged to break the viewer in that way. Finale opens to darkness with a young girl alone but for cockroaches, calling out for help, the only source of light is closed off as she nears it. Then we're meeting Agnes and Belinda, two youthful girls alone working at a petrol station. Denmark is in the finale of the big game showing that night, so both expect it to be a rather quiet night. It's Agnes's last shift. She's studying hard as well.

As things go, there's a customer, and we find out about Belinda, plus the game is on so no one is really around that much. The sense of loneliness and isolation befalls the movie. Soon, a car pulls up with two mean looking blokes inside. One fella has a camcorder, the other is Kim Sonderholm, who looks eternally annoyed. Agnes becomes really creeped out courtesy of Kim's pal filming. They finally pay and leave. Belinda happens to say afterwards, all matter of fact like, that she'd noticed a woman on the back seat with duct tape round her mouth. Agnes has one WTF expression. She suggests calling the police, but Belinda is adamantly saying no, her bloke, Kenny is on his way and she doesn't want the cops sniffing round.

Someone keeps placing the air pump outside on the gas court. Belinda finds it weird, but Agnes just says a customer must have left it out. Belinda is right in asking “Which customer?” since none of them used it. Kenny pops by, trying to bum money, then leaves. The evening continues. Agnes chats with her fella on the phone, then Belinda tells her the two men from earlier have returned. They're outside in their car, waiting.

Belinda explains she has been victim of a robbery before, this was how that one began. The two girls watch nervously as the vehicle nears. “Very strange behaviour if you're going to rob a gas station.” says Agnes. Belinda turns to her. “It's us they're after, Agnes.” she states. Agnes pouts in disbelief.

Now then, it's worth mentioning that throughout Finale we have seen clips of Agnes, beaten and tied (as stated prior with cockroaches) and obviously this is set at a later time. We now see a lengthier segment as she is shackled to a chair whilst a CCTV watches. Her boyfriend, Ben, is across the dark room, looking worse than she does. Most disturbing for Agnes is the person behind her, how he is dressed and that he secures a mask over her face.

Kim asks if he left his Visa card. Belinda confronts him about the lady she spotted in the back-seat, he smiles, claiming it was a blow up doll left over from a prank which didn't work out. On his way out, he grins with sinister reasons. Agnes returns to her studies when suddenly Belinda cries in shock. “It wasn't there when the car left.” she says as both girls see the gas pump left out again in the exact same place as before. Agnes returns it to its correct place, then Belinda, who's gazing at a monitor, claims she saw someone in the car wash, and what appears to be smoke is noticeable.

It has that feel of Scott Spiegels, Intruder with a bit of Rob Zombie's unfairly ripped into 31 (I liked that one more than The Devil's Rejects and Lords of Salem y’ know??!!). Everything we see totally grinds out the tension. It really builds to a fever pitch in the long scenes where you know sooner or later something is going to happen, in fact a series of happenings taking poor Agnes to the chair wearing a mask being felt up by a gaggle of strangers also wearing masks.

Don't cry, Agnes. It's only showbiz. I promise not to kill you. Unless you ask me to... or beg...Finale is a very powerful movie. The cast, from the main players to the minor, all earn their wages. They are pitch perfect in the parts. There are no weak links.

Soren Juul Petersen certainly believes in pure chiller techniques. Steady and carefully placing the bricks into the wall, until at the right moment, the whole thing crashes down in a chaotic mass of noise and madness. Plus when the gore (thanks Martin Hansen & team) and torture arrives, it does its thing well for the audience’s entertainment – including a small homage (maybe unintentionally) to the recently reviewed The Taming of Rebecca (see review here) The writing (based on a novel by Steen Langstrup) is sharp and doesn't waste time.

The most important thing, for me, having seen so many of the so-called torture porn nasties is that Finale has a satisfying conclusion, not a bitter open-ended or unfair one. The two main girls are realistic, and rather likeable which makes this movie all the greater in my opinion. My one and only gripe was put forwards earlier, in that the beginning is so unwelcome, like a friend's kids dripping chocolate fingers into your technology.

All in all, in this age of oversaturation and overkill when it comes to the illusion of snuff, Finale has the edge above most for all of the reasons above.




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Charles Goddard   | |2019-05-26 02:51:19
I thought the acting was terrific.The actresses in particular. Karin Michelsen
was impressive as Belinda. I'm sure we'll see much moreof her and Anne Bergfeld
in the near future
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