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The Notorious Finster (2024) Review

As The Notorious Finster begins, a car pulls up to the curb and a seriously fucked up young woman (Becca Breitfeller, The Summer I Turned Pretty, Pain Hustlers) falls out and stumbles into her house, stumbles around some more and passes out just int time for a garrote wielding figure to appear. To go with the killing, the killer, who refers to himself as Finster, sends Detectives Sam Brady (Brian Anthony Wilson, A Place in Hell, Creed) and Cody Price (Keegan Henderson, Kruel) receive a voice recording announcing his return and explaining that since she was a drug user, the victim deserved to die.

Annie Sullivan (Amanda Evans, Pentimento, Right of Way) is a reporter who wrote a book about Finster’s first string of killings, and is still obsessed with finding out his identity. She’s working with Brady and Price, trying to help them track the killer down and get a second book out of it.

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She’s also a recovering alcoholic, and her husband Roger (Britton Webb, The American Crow, My Killer Reunion) is hopes that moving out of the city and getting her into AA will turn her around. What it does do is introduce her to Reyna (Lindsay Corriveau, Liam White: The Forgettable Life of Liam White, Does the Owl Fly?) who isn’t nearly as serious about getting sober as Annie, and threatens to drag her back down. The Notorious Finster was written by Robert Henderson (Kruel) who also co-directed with his brother Cooper. They start their story from a very familiar place, a serial killer who kills “immoral” women suddenly starts killing, and taunting the detectives on the case, again.

They also give us a writer battling her own demons while trying to save a failing marriage. She’s also had an unnerving encounter with a local man, Vincent (Michael Z. Atrata, Red House, Jason: Chapter 1), who the evidence points to as the killer. It’s all straight out of Thriller 101 with a large dose of Basic Cable Drama for Beginners thrown in for flavouring. It’s nothing viewers haven’t seen done before, or done better.

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In its first hour, The Notorious Finster is a very slow burn, with as much attention being paid to Annie’s issues as to the killer. Then, around the halfway mark, the film runs just under two hours, the Coopers toss us a curve and the film becomes somewhat less of a drama and more of a thriller. Unfortunately, it’s more like a Lifetime Channel thriller, it just needs a stupid title that gives away the killer’s identity. And that is one of the few surprises The Notorious Finster has to offer, due to the fact their identity, which is revealed way too early, is anything but believable, and their motive for resuming killing almost as ludicrous.

Apart from a couple of decent effects, and one fairly awful one, showing the aftermath of Finster’s crimes, there’s not much in the way of effects to mention. The kills themselves are off-screen and very little time is devoted to any build up, stalking etc. It’s almost as if they were embarrassed to have them in the film at all.

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The last half hour sends The Notorious Finster off in another direction which is more distasteful than suspenseful. That includes a rape scene, which serves no purpose other than to set up a speech at the end from the now pregnant victim. A speech in which delivers a message that, victims of sexual assault should carry their rapist’s child, since it’s “not the child’s fault”.

Overall, The Notorious Finster is a dull attempt at making a mystery thriller. It’s slow with no real suspense or mystery since there’s literally no evidence pointing to the actual killer. The most interesting part of the film for me was trying to figure out where I saw one of the actresses before, as it turned out it was Eliza Kelley who played Layla, the mysterious sniper in Lost Phoenix. And with that mystery solved, there’s no reason at all to subject yourself to this film.

Cranked Up Films will release The Notorious Finster to VOD and Digital Platforms on May 28th.

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Our Score

1 thought on “The Notorious Finster (2024) Review”

  1. Not only do I want my money back, I want paid for pain & suffering after setting through this pile of garbage for almost 2 hours. I wish I would have seen this review prior to selecting the “approve purchase” button. Any chance these “actors” will be in any other movies? I just want to know which to avoid in the future. My God, this movie just keeps getting worse!

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