Well, this movie is bland. Imagine Halloween. Now throw in Animal House. Now completely remove any likability for most characters and any backstory or motivation for the killer. Set it during the last day of finals, and that’s pretty much what you’ve got here. Final Exam is about as run-of-the-mill as you can get in terms of being a slasher. It doesn’t really provide us with anything new, and the truth is, the psycho slasher is just some stoic dude with a kitchen knife.
What does it provide? An insight into fraternity life in the early 1980s, which apparently stuck to the opinion that college kids were just having fun, no matter whether they were cheating on tests, selling drugs, or even faking a mass shooting as a prank that everyone simply laughs at. Yeah, a handful of masked guys show up and shoot “victims” in the crowd before carrying off the bodies, which are revealed just to be more frat guys who are in on the prank. Gee, doesn’t that sound like fun?
Is there a connection between the slasher and the final girl? No, there doesn’t seem to be. He just drives up and starts killing folks because he can I guess. The dude kinda looks like a young Peter Boyle with hair, and…yeah, I got nothing. I think he wanted to be Michael Myers but forgot the mask.
Oh, but we get hazing! Don’t you all miss the days where you could strip a pledge down to his underwear, tie him to a tree, and shove ice cubes down his tighty-whiteys before leaving him there all night? Because I don’t. Yeah, it’s just not for me. I don’t really have any sympathy for most of the characters I see get killed, because there just isn’t any reason to like them.
Do you know who I’m sad about seeing get killed? Radish, the nerd. He’s named Radish, and he’s got a weird preoccupation with mass murder. He’s not in the frat, but yet the frat guys all seem to quasi-get along with him. It’s a weird interaction.
If you want a good slasher…go elsewhere. If you want college antics…go elsewhere. Hell, Ghoulies III was a better college movie than this, and that movie involves a frat house with a dirty haunted toilet.