Film Review: The Final Project

Posted in Reviews, Top Stories by - February 13, 2016
Film Review: The Final Project

The Final Project – Thank God it’s over!

I love ghost stories. Give me a good ghost story any day of the week, and I’ll be a happy (and freaked out) camper. Unfortunately, while this film made the promise of being a good ghost story, instead it barely qualified as a ghost story, much less a good one.

In a field where Paranormal Activity sets the bar for a decent movie, The Final Project didn’t even reach that level. I couldn’t believe how long it was taking to get to any action, and I thought the movie was going on for far too many minutes. That’s when I learned it wasn’t even an hour and a half.

The plot is very simple: a group of university students are making a film for their final project. Five of them want to be on it, one of them is being forced to do it with them because otherwise she will “fail college.” They should fail. While it is a found footage film, the found footage is on the level of a junior high student. There’s a good five minute scene of someone’s hand while she’s clicking a mouse and talking to another student. The ring on her finger is the only thing in focus, which would be okay if there was some sort of significance to the ring or the scene, but nothing from the scene showed up again in the movie, making me wonder why they bothered with it. Honestly, my high school film that involved an Energizer bunny being pushed down a hallway by a hand was more riveting, tension-filled, and realistic.

The Final Project is couched between a blurred out man who asks for the public’s help. His image and his voice are both manipulated so that we can’t recognize him, but he identifies himself as the brother of one of the students (Genevieve Ri’chard, played by Arin Jones), and he asks the public for their help in finding her. I’m not sure why he bothered blurring himself out since he identifies himself. I guess that’s a mystery to ask the director, Taylor Ri’chard.

I have other questions for the director, too. The students have to drive to the “plantation.” That drive took up far too much time. I don’t know that anyone has ever had as boring a game of “Never Have I Ever” as this group of students. Normally, I’m willing to wait through quite a bit, but even I didn’t want to wait through that. Once you get through a lot of nothing, suddenly it becomes a lot of something. But I’m not sure what it was a lot of.

Overall, the acting was okay. There wasn’t much they could do with what they were given. The one who carried off her hackneyed bit the best was Genevieve Ri’chard (played by Arin Jones). The worst had to be the bubble-headed blonde who was forced to go along, Misty (played by Amber Irwin). The others were fairly mediocre, but I couldn’t say if that was the fault of the movie itself or the actors – the line was blurred between what was causing the poor performances.

In The Final Project there is a single ghost sighting –something in the window. Was it a ghost mooning them? Perhaps it was just the reflection of the sun? For the sake of argument, let’s say it’s the ghost at the “plantation.” And have these people ever seen a plantation? I’ve never seen square brick columns on a plantation. An abandoned house, sure, call it that. But don’t call it a plantation because that conjures up certain images that then disappoint when the house comes into play…and the house? It looked like it had been in the process of being renovated. Doors that were in the process of being painted, and all the light switches had been removed and neatly capped off. Hate to break it to anyone who didn’t know, but light switch covers aren’t exactly hot on the black market. It looks like someone purposely removed them to repaint.

Finally, action happens. But what action? Well – SPOILERS! – but almost everyone dies. The big problem in The Final Project is that it isn’t clear how or why the people are dying. One student falls into a small water trough. Did she drown because she was really clumsy? Could be. There was no reason to believe she was in danger, and there was no evidence that anyone was there. Maybe she just freaked out and couldn’t get her head out of the way. That’s about as believable as the rest of the movie. A guy dies by falling down the stairs. Was he pushed? Did he trip? Was there anyone there? No idea. And, honestly, it didn’t matter. There were no scares except for the ones perpetrated by the college students on each other.

Until the end. I won’t spoil that part, but I will say that there was promise there. Finally a ghost! Something freaky. And then the movie is over. If you’re willing to wait for it, wait for it. Otherwise, go find a different movie to watch.

Official Trailer:

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