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Ok, so here’s the set-up: geeky suicidal teenager Dane (Marc Donato) and a group of high school outcasts hatch a diabolical plan to get their own back on the creeps who have made their lives hell at school. They host a costume party at a ranch house and invite all the kids who have humiliated them. Then they drug them, put in them in chains, and begin to torture them very, very slowly.

But one of the captives doesn’t belong there, and when he escapes it looks like the game is up for our avenging anti-heroes – Dane (D Stroyer), Emily (the Dominatrix), Ravi (the Clown) and Jack (the Scarecrow). But that’s not before they have used an arsenal of psychological and physical torture on their classmates, including cattle prods, stun guns, acupuncture needles, facial cream laced with acid and gardening shears (ouch!).

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I did go to the screening expecting a Texas Chainsaw Massacre or Saw kind of torture-porn experience, but I came away thinking the violence wasn’t as sadistic as advertised – well, it is a 15 so that’s probably why.

Still, director Joey Stewart’s debut feature is handsomely shot; has some top acting from the young, good-looking cast (especially Justin Arnold‘s bruiser jock Brad, who really does get his just desserts); boasts some wicked get-ups (the characters alter-egos would make fine collectors models on Monsters in Motion one day), and a quotable script laced with dark humour.

The Final might not be the most ‘extreme, painful or horrifying’ revenge film ever made, but its vengeance-seeking anti-heroes sure know how to throw a party. Now where did I put those shears?

Showing in selected UK cinemas from 13 August

DVD released 23 August

[swf]http://uk.player.filmtrailer.com/v3.1/&mid=5090&channel_user_id=441100180-1&repeat=1&volume=0[/swf]

To activate the sound in the trailer: hold your cursor over the screen to reveal the control panel and click on the volume control in the bottom right-hand corner.