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Slasher Sundays: The Final Girls (2015)

Written by Culture, Film

For those who haven’t heard of this underappreciated modern slasher, The Final Girls is a film that shares the same premise as a Wizards of Waverly Place episode, but it is also a heavily satirical take on the genre.

Our cast of teen comedy all-stars end up being thrust into an 80s slasher film that the lead girl’s mother was cast in, which lends its hand to some emotional confusion. Meanwhile, as they try to work out just what exactly is going on, a Jason Vorhees lookalike contest winner stalks the campsite, cutting all who would dare have pre-marital sex within his vicinity down.

The Finals Girls has stunning visuals. It’s colourful and over-the-top, nailing that 80s aesthetic.

It’s a hilarious jaunt, but unlike some terrible parodies such as The Hungover Games, The Final Girls is well-written and well-acted with stunning visuals to boot. It’s colourful and over-the-top, really nailing in that 80s aesthetic, even if the slashers of that time period were a little drab and dreary compared to their cohorts.

What stands out most about The Final Girls is a lot of the stylistic choices, from the self-aware narration to the parodied flashbacks, all the way through to the guttural violence. It’s rare that films in this genre will leave a lasting impression for how they look, and so it’s impressive that The Final Girls lingers with that distinction in mind.

On top of that, the characters are incredibly self-aware, in a way that even Scream couldn’t have – in Scream, the killers were playing on film, but the events were still “real,” whilst in The Final Girls, the cast of survivors know that they are in a movie and, what’s even better, it’s a film that they’ve watched themselves. They know the genre, but they also know the very narrative that they’ve magically been thrown into. It’s like an entire cast of Randys, with a couple of others thrown in for some diversity.

The gags are well-timed and clever, whilst the writers, M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller knew when to let the script breathe with some heartwarming character downtime, which is what the inclusion of the lead girl’s deceased mother, in the form of her character that she played way-back-when, adds. Comedies that strike that vital balance tend to spectacularly well and The Final Girls is no exception.

If you’re a big fan of 80s slasher, then The Final Girls is a worthwhile watch, as its both a love letter to the genre as well as a great romp into a stab-rich corner of horror that, like its many iconic antagonists, refuses to die.

Rating: 3/5 stars

Featured image credit: IMDb

Last modified: 23rd February 2020

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