28th Oct2019

‘The Final Scream’ VOD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Kate Lister, Mark Ozall, Becca Hirani, Cassandra French, Joanna Thea, Tiffany-Ellen Robinson, Sian Crisp, Denese Ricketts, Claire-Maria Fox, Louisa Warren | Written and Directed by Scott Jeffrey

final-scream-poster

The folks at Proportion Productions are back with ANOTHER genre film, The Final Scream – headlined, once again, by actress Kate Lister (Unhinged, Fox Trap, Curse of the Scarecrow). This time round Scott Jeffrey, co-writer of Mummy Reborn, steps behind the camera for his second feature which tells the story of Kia (Lister), an actress recently dumped by her agent for being too old, who is invited to a final re-call for a role in a horror film, also called The Final Scream. Of course not all is as it seems and the casting call is much more than just another screen test; and her director Tim (Marc Ozall) has an “interesting” way of getting the emotional range he requires from his cast… and her audition workshop that weekend, filmed as a part of “behind the scenes footage” for the film is actually MUCH more than that!

Apparently filmed on an even lower budget than usual for Proportion Productions, The Final Scream is akin to the US-lensed film Starry Eyes; insomuch that both deal with the pressures and vulnerability of acting and being an actor/actress within the confines of a genre film. However what The Final Scream has over Starry Eyes is the nature of its story – her there’s no budget to throw horrific sequences at the camera, to enhance the story through effects etc. Here it’s all down to performance.

Thankfully we have Kate Lister in the lead role – an actress who, in her previous work with Proportion (and also Champ Dog Films), has proven she has the range needed for such a pivotal role. So far, in the numerous genre films she’s appeared in, she played victim and heroine with aplomb delivering performances that had made films. And if you didn’t already know how good she is as an actress, The Final Scream proves it in spades.

Good job too, a lot of The Final Scream rests on her. From Kia’s audition scenes, to the scenes between Kia and director Tim as he tries to evoke emotion in her, Lister is the backbone of the film. Credit must go especially to her as she has to play an actress, trying to play a part for a director, all the while being an actress playing the part of an an actress, playing a part for a director – it’s like the inception of horror acting!

Of course not all of The Final Scream works – in fact when the villains are allowed to let loose they turn from creepy to camp rather fast. And THAT scene where the lead antagonist, his face draped with the skin of one of his kills dances around a cage with one of his prospective victims in to what sounds like a generic 80s pop song..? No. Just no. Yes that kind of creepy scene might have worked in Silence of the Lambs but it doesn’t anywhere else. Trust me. In fact here it changes the tone so brutally that it disrupts the narrative flow of the latter part of the film taking the audience out of the movie, and thus breaking the built-up tension.

Thankfully writer/director Scott Jeffrey manages to rein the film back in for the final 20 minutes, bringing this one to a decent, if not truly successful, close. My only gripe? A bigger budget would’ve allowed for the necessary effects set-pieces this film need to raise it above others of this ilk. The story was there, The Final Scream just needed the gore to back it up.

The Final Scream is available on-demand in the US now, on services such as Amazon Prime, FandangoNOW, Google Play and the Microsoft Store.

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