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Final Exam
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Final Exam (1981)

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Plot Summary:
"In a small college in North Carolina, only a select few students are left to take mid terms. But, when a killer strikes, it could be everyone's final exam."

Review by
Phil Davies Brown
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Review Date: 16 September 2003 My Rating: out of 5


Finally, a decent 's slasher, I had lost all hope of finding another one after the dismal 'Happy Birthday To Me'.

The kids at Lanier College are stressed out!! Not only do they have their finals but a psycho is on the campus too!!

Obviously everyone is quick to point out the obvious similarities between this film and 'Halloween', but I applaud Director Jimmy Huston for using John Carpenter's masterpiece as the basis for his foundations and then subsequently building a steady structure of a campus building.

The Director's meticulously planned shots transpire perfectly to the screen, such as the scene where we can't see a hulking killer of a man, purely because he hit his mark behind that tree, and other visual highlights including the killer's reflection in a mirror and a dumb waiter.

Starting well, if not a little cliched, the film's only flaw is that it spends too much time introducing us to the characters and their daily lives (I know, people normally fault horror movies for not doing this, but it only serves to show us why they don't do it) but it does almost slow the action down to a halt.

When the action picks up again however it's great fun, with annoying characters dying left right and centre amongst the well choreographed set pieces which actually do supply a few shocks.

I also noticed that the characters were quite smart for 's victims. They phone the police straight away, raise the alarm, get out fast and lock all the doors. None of which stops the relentless killer.

When a film creates a good atmosphere, with good characters for the audience to root for you can't go far wrong, and if only a little more time had gone into cutting down the character interaction and we had been given a better sense of closure, this would have been not just a good little film but rather a great slasher film.

If you can forgive such errors as the boom mike bobbing into frame occassionally and don't have too high expectations, you might just be pleasantly surprised. A good effort.

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