Women in Horror Month (WiHM) is an international, grassroots initiative, which encourages supporters to learn about and showcase the underrepresented work of women in the horror industries. Whether they are on the screen, behind the scenes, or contributing in their other various artistic ways, it is clear that women love, appreciate, and contribute to the horror genre. Psycho Drive-in is joining in by sharing articles – some classic, some new – celebrating the greatest women in the genre! [Editor’s Note: A version of this article was originally published on October 31, 2015] The Final Girls (2015) follows a group of spring breakers trapped in a 1980’s Friday the 13th-style slasher, housed in a world that parodies the Scream movies, which satirize the slasher genre from Carrie to SAW. So for a slasher within a slasher, nodding at other slashers, it’s pretty damn smart. This movie is what Cabin in the Woods would’ve been like, had it not sucked so horribly. Cabin attempted Scream-style meta-horror (slashers that mention slashers), but the writers forgot to do their research, create real characters, or write an actual plot. However, The Final Girls gets everything right. It’s not trying to be Scream, and by doing so, it carves its very own place in the meta-horror genre. This is the hilarious, witty, satirical slasher we’ve been waiting for. And if you’re a slasher nerd like me, you’ll be giddy over all the references and bits of random horror geekdom. But if you’re not, don’t get scared, this film is 100% comedy. It manages to deliver serious laughs without stooping to the level of Scary Movie. With side-splitting one-liners and hot chicks like Nina Dobrev (Vampire Diaries), this slasher has something for everyone. It’s also a perfect way to remember Wes Craven’s films (Nightmare on Elm St, Scream) without crying. There are moments in this film where it feels like he was a guest director, and I think that’s pretty huge for an indie horror flick to accomplish. What makes this film so innovative, is that the characters enter the world of another horror film, within a horror film. Think what Scream would’ve been like if Sidney Prescott got trapped in the world of Stab, the film about her life. Brilliant. Instead of your garden variety sexism and debauchery inherent to slashers, Final Girls, creates a world where educated heroines say things like, “yay feminism” and mean it. There aren’t any hyper-masculine douchebags like in Nightmare and Friday the 13th. The closest we even get to a masculine bro is 1980’s Kurt, played by singing sweetheart Adam DeVine (both Pitch Perfects). Kurt makes a homophobic remark and is immediately reprimanded for his disrespect. A slasher without hyper-masculine d-bags? Sweet. Similarly, the stereotypical first-to-die girls are even cautioned to cover up and not have sex so they stand a chance of surviving. Nina Dobrev is absolutely incredible playing Vicki, an aspiring Final Girl who does her best to save the non-virgins. The script is amazingly written and Vicki gets the best lines of any Final Girl. At first, I wasn’t too sure about the CW star in a slasher, but she steals the show. Gal pal, Max, played by American Horror Story’s Taissa Farmiga comes in a close second, as she’s mastered that, “I’m horrified, yet pretty” look. I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the awesomeness that is Nina Dobrev. The fact that she isn’t still home crying over Ian Somerhalder, her ex from Vampire Diaries and real life, shows incredible strength and courage. She’s struggled through leaving the Vampire Diaries and seeing pictures of Ian with his new wife, all over Insta. Also, I have tons of respect for Nina, because like Drake, she got her start on Degrassi, the Canadian teen soap. In The Final Girls, Vicki’s best line is: I can’t believe we’re just going to casually watch someone get murdered. What is this, Detroit? Vicki and Max lead a rag-tag gang of spring-breakers through the world of Camp Bloodbath. Luckily, for the group, the characters know the rules of horror. Max is the daughter of a famous 1980’s scream queen a la Jamie Lee Curtis, so she’s familiar with the slasher structure. Her mother was the star of Camp Bloodbath before she died in a tragic car crash. So Max gets to watch her dead mother die on screen, in a film that’s trying to kill her. Within minutes of the film, we’re deep in a wonderfully constructed world, filled with slasher stereotypes, cheesy 80’s clothes and a perfect camp side setting. Camp Blue Finch, the fictional world portrayed in the slasher, Camp Bloodbath, is haunted by machete-wielding psychopath, Billy Murphy. Millennials from the present are trapped within the fictional world of the 80’s, and the interaction between these generations is one of the film’s greatest sources of laughter. And thankfully, Scream-inspired horror fan, Duncan, played by Silicon Valley star, Thomas Middleditch is here to help. Duncan even knows that Camp Bloodbath fans are “bathematicians.” Much like Scream’s, Randy Meeks, Duncan informs everyone that they are, in fact, stuck in a horror movie, and the rules must be followed. Just to review the rules of horror: sex equals death, never say you’ll be right back, don’t drink, don’t do drugs, and never, ever go camping. But unfortunately for Duncan, the horror fan doesn’t make it. Duncan gets brutally murdered by Camp Bloodbath’s killer, Billy Murphy (a nod to Friday’s Jason Voorhees and Scream’s Billy Loomis). So let’s get to the rest of girls, shall we? Paula, the Final Girl, (the one who’s supposed to kill Billy) arrives in a sick 80’s car. Modeled after Nightmare’s Nancy, Paula (Chloe Bridges) doesn’t take any shit. She teams up with Vicki in attempts to save the others from Billy’s machete. The badass brunettes look like they might stand a chance, until we remember this is satire. In a movie called, The Final Girls, modeled after Friday the 13th (a slasher with no Final Girls), the character named The Final Girl … probably doesn’t survive. Following the meta-rules of Scream, anyone with a title synonymous with survivor isn’t going to make it. And true to the rules, Paula, The Final Girl dies a gruesome death. Leading up to Paula’s death, the film jumps back to the black and white world of 1957, pushing the teens into a flashback, the origins of Billy Murphy. Much like Jason Voorhees of Camp Crystal lake, Billy Murphy was deformed and ridiculed, returning to camp to exact his revenge on counselors. Now that Paula is forced to clash with the new girls of horror, Billy has to kill her. As Paula drives away, she accidentally kills Duncan, Kurt and herself. In a moment of hilarious irony, The Final Girl dies at her own hands, no killer in sight. With Paula gone, it’s down to Gertie, Vicki and Max to become the new Final Girl. Well, down to Max, since she’s the only virgin. Unless we’re going Scream rules where the Final Girl can sleep with the killer and still survive. “I guess I’ll be able to save myself for George Michael” Nancy says because it’s the 80’s. “I wouldn’t hold your breath,” Vicki quips, adding, “You get laid and then you die. You’re just part of the body count. And then we’re in a surreal garden full of sunshine where Nancy, Max’s dead mother, is still alive as her Bloodbath heroine. Max reconnects with her mother and Vicki comes to a sad realization. She’s not the Final Girl. “I’m the mean girl in the 80’s horror movie so … I’ve overstayed my welcome” she admits. Then the most amazing thing happens. The best scene in the movie has nothing to do with slashers or trivia. In a random moment of complete absurdity, Bloodbath 80’s girl, Tina, downs a bottle of Adderall and dances her ass off. I haven’t laughed this hard at a horror movie since Scream 4. It’s simply amazing. Then the film tops itself by offering this homage to slow-motion. As for the rest of the kills, no spoilers here. Vicki, Gerdie and Max all have pretty solid chances at being Final Girls. And as the title suggests, there could be more than one survivor. Or maybe it’s ironic and everyone dies. The Final Girls is the perfect, raunchy Halloween movie. So be brave and give this movie a chance. Sick soundtrack and pretty girls aside, it’s pretty damn funny. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related One Response Susan Leighton February 22, 2017 I have been wanting to see this movie for awhile now & knowing the subject matter has made it a must see. This review was informative without spoilers. The cast sounds terrific & who doesn’t like an homage to those great 80s teen horror flicks? Win-win! ? Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.