THE FINAL GIRLS

PrintE-mail Written by J.D. Gillam

For those of us that grew up on a diet of bad ‘80s slasher flicks there was always a small, self-aware part of us that wishes that we could appear in one of those films, ensuring that we didn't make the same mistakes as the stupid characters. That's the basic premise of The Final Girls in a nutshell, only the protagonists are shoved into the film in question rather than voluntarily popping into it.

Max (Taissa Farmiga) loses her mother and failed actress Amanda (Malin Akerman) in a car crash. Three years later, she is cajoled into attending a double bill of a pair of slasher films called Camp Bloodshed, the first of which her mother had a starring role in back in the ‘80s. Along with a small group of friends, she goes but a fire breaks out in the cinema and in their attempts to escape the group cuts through the screen and wakes up in the film itself. 

What follows is a brilliant deconstruction of ‘80s slasher films as the ‘80s characters and the present day teens clash culturally whilst trying to survive the bloody rampage of Billy Murphy, who is out for blood, Jason Voorhees-style.

Max bonds with Nancy, the character her mum plays, and does her best to save her as she tries to keep her friends alive too, all against the odds of the slasher movie rules.

There are some outstanding moments of comedy gold that somehow manage to not turn this into a spoof, although it does show us how our genre tastes have refined themselves over the years. It's clever, very funny and is actually a little heartbreaking at times.

Perhaps the only gripe is the lack of impressive kills that we come to expect from the subgenre thanks to exposes by magazines like Fangoria back in the day, but this is clearly due to the fact that the creators wanted to keep the certificate to a lower level to increase the haul.

Yes, similar stories have gone before - just look at Waxwork for a prime example, and this would make a great double bill in its own right with that late ‘80s classic - but this doesn't try to be unique. It tries to be likeable, which it succeeds in spades. And machetes, and knives, and arrows (you get the idea!).

Considering how much fun this is, it's very confusing as to why it did not receive a cinema bow instead of being unceremoniously dumped onto DVD and Blu-ray. An unexpected delight - go and track a copy down right now.

THE FINAL GIRLS / CERT: 15 / DIRECTOR: TODD STRAUSS-SCHULSON / SCREENPLAY: M.A. FORTIN, JOSHUA JOHN MILLER / STARRING: TAISSA FARMIGA, MALIN AKERMAN, ALEXANDER LUDWIG, NINA DOBREV / RELEASE DATE: OCTOBER 12TH

 


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