Independent horror comes in many different shapes and sizes. The horror anthology is usually a mixed bag, often with segments which differ in quality, and usually offer a little bit of something for everyone’s individual tastes. The Final Ride is no exception to this (especially the differing in quality aspect), containing three different stories all focusing on a different subgenre of horror.
Demonic Possession horror, Lovecraftian Body horror, and Final Girl Revenge horror are the subgenres in which these films root themselves in. The Final Ride plots include the ghost of an 80’s fitness instructor that possesses a new home owner, a regrettable tattoo that won’t stop spreading, and the story of an Uber Driver who gets the ride of her life, which acts as a bookend. From the moment the film starts you can tell not only is this low budget, it is a micro budget. At times the creators use this lack of production value to their advantage, creating an almost documentary aesthetic.
The Final Ride doesn’t exactly succeed in horror or scares, overall, but where is does excel in is comedy. This works extremely well as a dark comedy, the extravagant situations and character reactions offer up horror-comedy gold. If you go in expecting a good scare and a tight story you may be disappointed. However if you turn off your brain, grab a couple of beers, and go in hoping for a laugh then you will probably enjoy it.
This is a case where the less said about the story, the better the viewing experience. That being said, in my opinion the closest The Final Ride gets to succeeding as a horror film, is the tattoo storyline. While still maintaining some comedic elements, this segment is the darkest in tone. What starts off as a dumb decision with a friend, escalates into full on demonic body horror. The concept of using tattoos as a metaphor for terminal illness is brilliant, and leaves me wondering why more horror movies haven’t explored this idea.
The opening segment is by far the most humorous in my opinion. A man plays some haunted VHS tapes, which leads him to getting possessed by the ghost of a retro fitness instructor. The rest follows the man’s partner as she tries to exorcise the ghost of the fitness instructor from the body of her boyfriend. The final segment is the most generic and cliche of the bunch. It’s your typical Final Girl revenge film, but Keegan Chambers as Jean the pissed off Uber driver does a good job with the role, and not only rescues herself but rescues this segment from being overly predicable.
The Final Ride was made on a Canadian shoestring budget of $5000, which at times is reflected in the cinematography and production value, however the comedic style proves itself to be priceless. What the film lacks in budget it makes up for in passion. When acknowledging the limited budget, the performances of Keegan Chambers as Jean and Joshua Kuchma as 80’s Fitness Dude are extremely commendable.
5.5 out of 10