I am pretty tired of torture porn, and while I kind of like the film’s premise, the Final is a mess of a film.
The Final tells the tale of the oppressed and bullied standing up to the bullies. It is not much deeper than that. We are introduced to several kids who are pushed around by…well, fairly believable bullies. Playing upon the vanity of their tormentors, they stage a party and drug the kids.
When the bullies awake, they are chained. Some are cruelly tortured. Others are left to just watch. They promise nobody will die. They are there to learn a lesson, not mere revenge. None of the victims are very compelling, and the minute they become tortures, they are now the bullies. Certainly, there is an argument to be made that violence begets violence, and bullying begets bullying. Live by the sword and all that.
Make no mistake, if you were ever a bully-or are one now-understand this… your victims probably dreamed about doing stuff like this to you. But the problem is, the crueler they get, the harder it is to retain any sympathy. And eventually, your sympathy is drained away. It’s the bully’s you feel the pity for in the film. You hope for someone to come in and take out the villains… the bullied kids. It’s a revenge fantasy that falls apart by causing you to feel more for the oppressor than you can for their former victims.