22nd Jun2021

‘The Final Ride’ VOD Review

by Alain Elliott

Stars: Keegan Chambers, Annette Wozniak, Matthew Chisholm, Brent Baird, Nicole Kawalez, Geoff Almond, Ry Barrett, Joseph Claude Dubois, Steve Kasan, Astrida Auza, Ali Chappell, Julie C. Sheppard, Susana Borosic, Joshua Kuchma, Lex Darian | Written and Directed by Mike McMurran

It feels like a while since I’ve watched a horror anthology. Often highly entertaining and one of my favourite (if quite small) sub genres of horror. The Final Ride features just three stories and one wrap around that links them altogether.

All starting with a tale I’ll call FITNESS. And it’s a pretty odd start to proceedings but I’m good with that. We see young couple buying their first home and everything seems perfect until they find some old VHS tapes hidden in the house. You might think you know where this s heading but you really don’t! After watching the tapes and discovering they are nothing but fitness and exercises tapes from the eighties, the couple don’t think much more of it. But then the guy starts running each morning and becoming obsessed with getting fit. At the same time his girlfriend discovers something about the house and its previous owner – the fitness instructor on the tapes!

It is a ridiculous story but the director and actors just about pull it off. When it tries to be bit serious, it doesn’t work at all so thankfully it’s mainly played out as a comedy. The acting is over the top, sometimes bad, but fitting and we get one good practical effect heavy death scene. We end up with some kind of The Exorcist meets eighties fitness video vibe and that’s not something you see every day! I enjoyed it.

Next up was what I will name TATTOO. Two best friends go out for a heavy night of drinking and end up at a tattoo parlour (If anyone was wondering, just never get a tattoo when drunk. Bad idea). The reasons for not doing it in this short are much worse though. The character who chooses, under a small amount of peer pressure, to get a small tattoo one his arm, has to explain it to his unhappy girlfriend the next day. The day he will be meeting her parents for the first time. And this tattoo becomes difficult to cover up when it grows and multiplies!

This story is actually played a little more serious than it sounds and it could definitely work as both a serious horror or comedy but gets stuck somewhere in the middle. The acting isn’t great but the enthusiasm and idea pulls it through and it’s almost as entertaining as he first story. The awful-looking tribal tattoos annoyed me more than they should have but there’s actually some good practical effects used here and an interesting ending.

The final story (lets say KIDNAP) connects all three as it involves the taxi driver for each character previous now being kidnapped. It doesn’t actually get to the kidnap part the obvious way you might expect but the concluding short does feel a bit out of place with its serious, more grounded and less fun tone. It’s not bad by any means and actor Steve Kasan (who I seem to see regularly in low budget genre movies) is as enjoyable as ever, as is Keegan Chambers (who has featured in a couple of Christmas horror movies recently) as the taxi driver. This last story just needed to be a bit more amusing and less gritty because it felt like it was from a different anthology.

That said, The Final Ride was more entertaining than I expected and proves that a low budget doesn’t matter if you have some great and interesting ideas. Worth checking out while we wait for V/H/S 94.

*** 3/5

The Final Ride will be released on digital July 14th from Wild Eye Releasing.

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