Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Final Exam (1981)
The film starts out with a couple of college students in their car, who are your typical "throw-away" slasher movie characters who are there only to be killed off quickly and get the movie started. The main problem i had with Final Exam was that it was almost an hour before anything else happened at all. Eventually the ball gets rolling with about half an hour left and it turns itself into a decent little slasher.
There were attempts at character development, with varying levels of success. The problem is there were alot of stereotypical roles, such as arrogant frat boy and meat head jock, that are straight forward characters which got more time then needed to develop. This really slowed the pace of the movie down.
On the upside of Final Exam, it was suspenseful once the bodies start dropping. Its never a quick kill or a gore fest for that matter. Every kill is meaningful and it has a Halloween feeling about it, although a second rate Halloween. It was nice to get that change of pace from most horror movies of this era, where the main focus is the body count and not creating any real suspense. The killer is never identified or named, and we are never given a motive, which really adds to the suspense, as it could be anyone for any reason.
Final Exam will never get the same recognition that the big names in the sub-genre have, but thats not to say it should be totally written off. Its very average, middle of the road stuff, but it has moments that make it a worth while watch for a slasher buff.