The Final Rites (2012) A.K.A Rites of Passage

logoDirector: W. Peter Iliff

Writer: W. Peter Iliff (Screenplay) W. Peter Iliff, Rick Halsey (Story)

Starring: Wes Bentley, Kate Maberly, Ryan Donowho, Travis Van Winkle, Briana Evigan, Christian Slater, Stephen Dorff


Plot: A group of anthropology students take a road trip to the family ranch of one of them for a weekend of drinking and taking drugs, the latter under the pre-tense of researching ancient rituals. They run in trouble, however, because the brother that lives on the seemingly abandoned premises displays disturbing behaviour in his search for a “bride” and a stranger named Delgado turns up to enact revenge for a misdeed in the past by one of the students.


Verdict: Swing & a Miss


Story: We have the typical group of college friends who end up having a night away having a good time along with learning about history. Add is a deranged killer, well man who ends up seeking revenge for his family’s death by one of the friends. Also to make things go another direction we have a lonely man who has taken too much special juice he keeps trying to create a wedding.

With these three different stories mixing together we do get an interesting story with some solid character development. The biggest flaw this film ends up having is that the good people are the waste of spaces and the villains of the piece just need help. The father out for revenge seems to have been left abandoned by society while the person who killed her seems to have got away with it. As I will always say not every teenager, young adult spends endless time getting high for fun. In the end I liked the idea of mixing the story up and the random moments which occur throughout. (6/10)


Actor Review


Wes Bentley: Benny estranged man who drinks a special herbal drink that makes him go into wild hallucination and by being in these he starts to look for a bride to go on the trips with him. When not high he comes off as a nervous but normal guy maybe a little socially awkward. Solid performance from Wes, who gets through without excelling but doing a good job. (7/10)


Kate Maberly: Dani half Native American who caused the accident while drunk driving down the wrong side of the road. Personally I don’t know how she wasn’t in jail let alone aloud to drive or drink. Even though she is meant to be the main heroine she is very unlikable because of this. She does a solid job but doesn’t do enough to make us care whether she makes it or not, in fact most people will be cheering for her to get killed off. (5/10)


Ryan Donowho: Nathan student and brother of Benny who brings his friends to the location. A lot of his motives are to impress Dani, but ends up spending a lot of time trying to control his brother. An ok performance, but another unlikable character. (5/10)


Christian Slater: Delgado stranger on the facility who has lost him family in car accident, he spends his time growing drugs, but he also has moments where he talks to a toy monkey who has a Mexican accent. He gets a change to meet the girl who killed his family but decides he just wants to take out every student who could do the same thing. Good performance from Christian who makes a uniquely interesting character that we are meant to hate. (8/10)


Briana Evigan: Penelope party going student who becomes the first choice of Benny to be his wife, she gets kidnapped for this and tries to escape the seemingly harmless Benny. Easy disposable character that does all she needs to do. (5/10)


Travis Van Winkle: Hart jock of the group who can get the ladies but supports everyone in the group. He is ex-military and you support him throughout. Only good guy you root for and you are kind of waiting for him to have a heroic death moment. Good performance from Travis who does what he needs to and makes you support a good guy. (7/10)


Director Review: W. Peter Iliff – Good direction trying to redefine a genre that is tried and tested, some elements work others don’t. (7/10)


Thriller: As you don’t root for too many characters you lose the thriller side of the story and also the fact you never know what Benny will do doesn’t help. (5/10)

Settings: Creates the isolation idea well and gives you the trapped feeling when things start to kick off. (9/10)

Suggestion: This is one worth trying, it is different but sometime confusing, but it does do well by using the human villain factor no undead monster, spirits or anything like that. (Horror Thriller Fans Try)


Best Part: Delgado’s conversations with the Mexican monkey change the feel of the film every time.

Worst Part: Unlikable heroine.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It is left open for one.

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $2.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes


Overall: Different Thriller That Falls A Bit Short

Rating 60

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