93 minutes| U.S.| 2009| Colour

Director’s statement: ‘My oldest brother hanged himself when I was 12, and my mother retreated into grief-stricken denial and paranoia, blaming his death on the planned sacrifice of a demonic cult. I wrote Finale to face my demons, telling the story from her perspective.’

Director John Michael Elfers evokes the spirit of Rosemary’s Baby, with a pinch of Hellraiser and a sprinkling of Suspiria, for this heart-felt, deeply personal labour of love. Shot on a shoestring on super 16mm for that authentic ’70s feel; what’s more, Finale’s elaborate visual FX sequences are all realised in-camera, utilising shockingly effective tricks purloined from the dawn of cinema. More of that: we’re so over CGI. And then there’s the film itself, a delightful, giallo-infused mind-bender – it’s all about the giallo at Horrorthon 2010. A grieving mother (Carolyn Hauck) becomes convinced that there’s more to her son’s apparent suicide than meets the eye… Are the dark arts at play? Is this a horror film festival or what? Mario Bava would be proud.

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