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Cherry Pop

'Final Draft'
(James Van Der Beek, et al / DVD / NR / 2007 / PeaceArch)

Overview: A screenwriter suffering from writer’s block decides to lock himself in his apartment for 18 days in order to meet a career-making deadline. His script involves characters from his past, including a terrifying and disfigured clown. As cabin fever sets, he soon finds himself living in a world where what’s real and what’s fiction begin to cross lines with chilling and fatal consequences.

DVD Verdict: 'Final Draft' is a psychological thriller about a screenwriter who locks himself in his apartment to complete his screenplay. However, he finds that he’s locked himself in with his own personal demons in the form of the villain of his screenplay.

Paul Twist (James Van Der Beek) wrote a screenplay that was made into a successful movie. Since then he’s not been able to write another thing. Twist’s actor buddy David (Darryn Lucio) has a big meeting and it sounds like he’s going to get a deal. Problem – he doesn’t have a script. Well it seems that Twist has come up with an idea.

In his youth Twist was at the circus one time and witnessed a clown doing a fire-blowing act and a tragic accident and was killed. What was chilling about the accident, besides the clown’s death, was the fact that the kids thought it was part of the act and kept laughing. So the last thing the dying clown heard was the laughter of children. David needs the script, and soon, so he proposes that Twist do the old college trick of locking himself in his apartment until the screenplay is done.

Twist agrees and David locks him in. Twist decides to cast some characters that have injured him in his past in roles in his screenplay. Visions of these people start to pop up in his apartment, but also a burnt clown named Punchy (James Binkley) also shows up as well.

I never watched that show that Van Der Beek was on so I really don’t have that baggage of loving or hating him on Dawson’s Creek. However, the cover makes the film look like a horror film when it’s more of a psychological thriller. The show is really a one-person character drama since it concerns Twist’s internal demons and his externalization of them as characters in his screenplay.

The killer, burnt clown is a typical horror movie figure but this film really swerves more towards all of it being figments of Twist’s twisted (sorry couldn’t resist that one) imagination. That being said the film is a decent psychological thriller, albeit a somewhat low budget one - although you really don’t need a large budget since most of the film takes place in Twist’s apartment.

Van Der Beek is okay in the role but may be a little squeaky clean (and a lot of the cast, including him, seems to want to make themselves dirtier by copious usage of the “F” word). This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of a Making of Final Draft Featureette and a “Dr. Blink” Music Video.