End of Term is a 2021 British horror/thriller written by John Paul Chapple (Guy X, Big Kiss) and directed by Mat Menony who makes his feature directorial debut.
It is available in the UK on Digital Platforms from 2nd October 2023 courtesy of Reel 2 Reel Films.
“The image of the tortured artist is a common one. Like all such cliches it is overused, but there’s truth in it.”
As the film opens, we see a young art student, Melissa (Chelsea Edge – The Seed, Dead in October) sitting in a police station being interviewed by DI Jim Burman (David Bamber – Enola Holmes, Miss Potter) and DS Stacey Harcourt (Julie Graham – Shetland (TV series)).
She has just been taken from her student accommodation, The Old Rectory Student Hall at the Ford Barrington School of Art, Borley (can you see what they did there?) where something has happened following the graduation celebrations. This building already has a reputation after controversial artist Garth Stroman (Ivan Kaye – Apocalypse Clown) committed atrocities in the basement.
The story is told through a series of flashbacks, as the events leading up to that night are recalled by Melissa during the questioning. It’s the end of term and most of the students have gone home. Remaining are Melissa, her ex Ashley (Nicola Posener – House Red), Dan (Charley McDougall – Awaiting), Andy (Josh Taylor – Memory), Brandon (Ryan Whittle – The Haunting of M.R. James) and Lizzie (Darcy Isa – Grange Hill (TV Series)).
Melissa’s sister Eva (Emily Reid – Leprechaun Returns) is visiting to attend the Graduation Night celebrations, hosted by Dean of the school, Professor Leigh (Peter Davison – Doctor Who (TV Series), All Creatures Great and Small (TV Series)) where their work will be assessed by renowned art critic Damian Self (Ronald Pickup – Darkest Hour). Also in attendance is her boyfriend Scott (Ben Lamb – Divergent, Now You See Me 2). Can the police pick through the events of that night and figure out what really happened?
“She created this BDSM torture chair thing. All that fear and sex and death. It was way too big to get out of the basement. It’s typical of her really.”
End of Term is an enjoyable film, with a good idea for a story and a nice touch to basically set it in Borley Rectory. The script is good and the actors all do pretty well with it. It’s a bit overly wordy, but they seem to know all the ‘art lingo’.
It’s very British and although it works well using the police station setting to tell the story, it does occasionally make it feel like an episode of The Bill. It is also vague and a bit confused in places, but overall the characters are interesting and the story carries you nicely along to the predictable but satisfying twist. Fans of the genre will definitely find it worth a watch.
“There are those who believe that in order to create great art, you must suffer. This is errant nonsense, as is the belief of another, more disturbing but happily irrelevant group, who maintain that just because you suffer, you can create great art.”
End of Term is available now on UK Digital Platforms from Reel 2 Reel Films.
|Starring||Chelsea Edge, Peter Davison, Nicola Posener, Ben Lamb|