FrightFest 2022 | Final Cut

This incredibly meta French remake of a Japanese indie zombie film hits all the right spots and will entertain your socks off.

final cut zombies


If you haven’t seen One Cut Of The Dead, the ultra low-budget Japanese horror hit from 2017, you have a cultural blind spot the size of Mount Everest in your film knowledge. Shin’ichirô Ueda’s clever take on the zombie sub-genre of horror turned out to be a massive hit all over the world, so a remake isn’t all that surprising. 

Except this one comes to our screens courtesy of France rather than Hollywood and what a treat it is. Final Cut was selected as the opening film of this year’s prestigious Cannes Film Festival, a bold choice from such a traditional film festival that has often been accused of snobbery. 

Trying to explain the premise of Final Cut feels futile because it works so much better than what I can do it justice here. The film begins (like the original One Cut Of The Dead) with a very long, seemingly uninterrupted take that follows a film crew filming a zombie film, but they’re attacked by real zombies. Final Cut then jumps back in time to tell the story of how the production got started and finally, the last third of the film shows us that first 30 minutes from the crew’s angle.


It sounds a little complicated and messy when I crudely write it out, but Final Cut is a hugely entertaining affair. It’s a film about absolutely nothing whatsoever and it’s better to leave any expectations at the door. Final Cut doesn’t say anything meaningful or profound, it’s simply a very good time at the cinema. 

Romain Duris, who last starred in Eiffel, is excellent here as the manic, desperate director of the film-within-the-film. Supported by Bérénice Bejo and Matilda Lutz, Duris anchors the entire film with his committed and often goofy performance. Above everything else, Final Cut is a comedy and there are a lot of laughs, a lot of which stem from the cast’s impeccable comedic timing. 

Final Cut also doubles down on the meta element. The film is directed by Oscar-winning French director Michel Hazanavicius, who is married to Bejo and Hazanavicius’ daughter also plays Duris’ daughter in the film. Not only that, this remake revolves around the French crew remaking a Japanese zombie film. It’s almost dizzying just how meta Final Cut is and with plenty of nods to the original film, the film will certainly reward multiple watches. 

The biggest issue is the pacing. The last third is by far the most entertaining but sandwiched in between two impressive sequences is a lacking middle part. The narrative slows down and while the laughs keep coming, they don’t come fast enough and your concentration starts drifting. 

final cut

Overall, Final Cut is a remake done right. It has its own unique identity and while it has absolutely nothing to say about the state of the world or any of the characters, it’s gory, wild and energetic enough to be forgiven for it. 

Signature Entertainment presents Final Cut on Digital Platforms 7th November (TBC)

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