End of Term Review

Freshly released on Digital, a killer is on the loose at the prestigious Ford Barrington Art School, and it’s not the first time something horrific has happened within these halls. 50 years ago, a student had a series of seemingly impossible nightmarish visions. Cut to the present day, as graduation looms and the bodies start piling up, the race to unmask the killer is on, but not everybody will get through this in one piece.

The story unfolds as told by the lone survivor of a massacre, Melissa (Chelsea Edge), who is in a cold, windowless police interview room and begins to explain to the detectives the events that led to the multiple murders at her school—spending a tad too much time explaining the would-be relationships, hook-ups, and power dynamics within the school’s students and faculty.

Everybody loves a good murder mystery; heck, I love any murder mystery, whether it’s good, mediocre, or bad. It’s like the over-saturated Giant Creature vs. Other Massive Creature or Shark movies, and I can’t get enough of them despite knowing they’re not (by any standard) a good film. We’ve seen a welcome revival of the classic whodunit in recent years, and the slasher has been a staple of the industry since horror movies began. So, director Mat Menony’s idea to combine the two for End of Term is an admirable mixture of two wildly popular genres. However, flipping between a Scream-style slasher to a twee Murder Mystery occasionally becomes jarring. As we (mostly) know who makes it out of this alive, the tension over who will be the next victim is somewhat lost.

Quibbles aside, End of Term has a solid main cast and a nice supporting role for the late Ronald Pickup as a snooty art critic and a wonderfully game turn from former Doctor Who star Peter Davidson; it all leads to an enjoyable mix of slasher and whodunit that could have benefitted from a few more laughs and a few more thrills.

End of Term is out now on Digital.

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