Genre filmmaking is always such a unique proposition as even the simplest of premises with films that get forgotten about can produce some pretty solid results. "The Final Terror" takes the young nubile teens camping in the woods motif and makes it gritty with some realistic tension thanks to a surprisingly talented group of people on the brink of stardom.
A group of young campers out for what they hope will be a fun filled weekend find their plans spoiled as these particular woods are inhabited by a disguised and merciless killer who stalks the forest and sets booby traps in the hope of finding new victims and fresh blood. Before long they are caught up in an unrelenting web of bloodshed and murder and it is up to the remaining few campers to defend themselves and find a way to put in an end to a blood curdling and violent weekend that they will never forget.
It's a straight forward premise, and despite some minor hiccups "The Final Terror" is a decent little thriller with a surprising amount of familiar faces that make this crazy trip into the woods a fun one, even though it isn't all that memorable.
Director Andrew Davis, who also shot the film himself under a pseudonym made this low budget thriller look and feel, well beyond its budget as everything just felt large scale and the tight knit trees and close quarters only ramped up the tension where it was necessary. The script was admittedly basic as the dialogue never really landed and none of the characters truly stood out but it all plays out well enough as it certainly isn't trying to reinvent the wheel, just get us from Point A to B without as little fuss and not too much muss.
The cast was solid and filled with familiar faces like Darryl Hannah, Adrian Zmed, Mark Metcalf and Joe Pantoliano and they all played into their parts well. However when it is killer in the woods scenario there just aren't a lot of variations on the theme and from a character standpoint everyone just has to do their job and no one really gets to standout.
It's a fun and well executed little thriller, but there isn't anything about "The Final Terror" that truly stands out to anyone other than the hardcore fan base.
2 out of 5 stars.
The picture and sound quality are quite good on this release and the special features include interviews with actors Adrian Zmed, Lewis Smith and post production supervisor Allan Holzman as well as composer Susan Justin. There is also a feature length commentary track with director Andrew Davis and the theatrical trailer.
"The Final Terror" is now available on DVD/Blu-Ray Combo Pack from all major retailers.