What is The Final Girls?
A young woman grieving the loss of her mother, a famous scream queen from the 1980s, finds herself pulled into the world of her mom’s most famous movie. Reunited, the women must fight off the film’s maniacal killer. The Final Girls is directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson and stars Taissa Farmiga, Malin Åkerman, and Nina Dobrev.
I stumbled upon a gem of a horror-comedy a few years ago called The Final Girls. I don’t remember how I found it. I probably was recommended it when I inevitably screamed horror movies like Scream. There comes that fondness for Scream again. It pops up a lot when I describe a quirky horror movie I like. It’s funny how much one movie or franchise can influence your taste in movies so much, but seriously The Final Girls is a well-deserved Scream offspring. And I don’t mean that as The Final Girls is a ripoff of Scream, far from it actually. It’s actually more Scream meets Friday the 13th with some added nuance for good measure. The most similarity to Scream is its meta-ness and commentary on horror movies. But The Final Girls does it in a really fun way that unique for itself. It places these real-life characters into a cult classic 80s horror movie and it creates a really fun dynamic between the real-life characters and the characters in the fictional movie. A dynamic I haven’t seen before in a movie. That’s where the meta-ness comes from and it makes the film all the more fun to watch.
Even with all the meta-ness in The Final Girls, it’s still a slasher by heart. The movie may try to trick you because it has commentary on the slasher subgenre, but one by one, characters are being killed off. Albeit, the deaths are in innovative and funny ways, but it’s definitely a slasher movie. A slasher movie laced with meta-ness and heart. The Final Girls at times is a heartbreaking movie. There’s an emotional arc that plays out between the protagonist and another character that is genuinely emotional to watch. It will both break and warm your heart as long as you get invested in the main character and a particular relationship they have with someone. It’s heart-wrenching and emotional to see unfold that brings unexpected layers to the film. You wouldn’t expect something so emotional to be in an indie slasher film that is primarily a comedy to have an arc about grief and it feels genuine and not out of place. It fits perfectly and is my favorite storyline in the movie.
The Final Girls largely fell under most people’s radar in 2015 which is a shame because it such a clever and original slasher movie with heart. I don’t want to bash too many recent horror movies because there have been some great ones as of late, but as much as there have been great ones there are dubs. Dubs that have been box office success and many people went to go see. I just wish the same would have been for The Final Girls. It deserved more attention than it ended up receiving when it was originally released. It feels ahead of its time. If it was only released a few years later, then it would have cashed in the newfound 80s nostalgia boost so many shows and movies have received. Combined with the 80s nostalgia, the Scream influenced meta-ness, and well written and crafted emotional arc The Final Girls is an underrated clever little slasher movie. I implore you all to seek The Final Girls out if haven’t seen it already, especially if you are a fan of Scream, and really who isn’t?