Max fights Billy

MOVIE REVIEW: The Final Girls (2015)

By Amy Mead

The Final Girls movie poster

Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson

Starring Malin Akerman, Taissa Farmiga, Alexander Ludwig, Nina Dobrev and Alia Shawcat

The Final Girls starts with Max, the daughter of former scream queen, Amanda Cartwright, sitting in a car waiting for her mom to return from an audition. While waiting, she watches a trailer for an old 80's horror film and looking over her mother's new resume and head shot. Amanda soon returns, lamenting on the drive home about how she will never be taken seriously due to her role as "Nancy" in the 80's slasher film, Camp Bloodbath, which has now become a cult classic among horror fans. Sadly, they are involved in a horrific crash and never make it home. Max is the only survivor.

Flash forward to the third anniversary of her mother's death and we see Max hanging out with her friends Gertie and Chris. They are soon approached by Gertie's stepbrother (and horror nerd supreme) who convinces Max to attend a special back to back screening of Camp Bloodbath and it's sequel, Camp Bloodbath 2: Cruel Summer, that is being shown later that very night.

During the screening, all hell breaks loose as overzealous fans accidentally set the theater on fire. In a panic, Max cuts a hole in the screen for her and her friends to safely escape the blaze and they are somehow suddenly transported into the world of the film. They all wake up in the woods and realize where they are, that they have survived the inferno at the theater but they are now trapped within the movie.

Not only will Max be reunited with her mother, but she and her friends will soon realize that they will also have to fight the films villain, a deranged machete wielding killer known as Billy Murphy and play the film out to it's violent end in order to make it back home...will Max and her friends ever make it out of the Camp Bloodbath world alive? And who will be the Final Girl?

 

 

 

 

The Final Girls is a very much an homage to the revered 80's slasher that so many of us know and love and I had a lot of fun watching it and while the premise of being sucked into a movie has been done before, I am not sure it's been done quite this well.

There is a nice balance of scares and laughs to be had here but gore lovers beware. Largely in part to the films PG-13 rating, there isn't very much of the red stuff to be seen here, but it does offer up some inventive kills that are hilarious and a lot of fun to watch, not to mention a nostalgia inducing 80's soundtrack that can't be beat. 

The actors are all spectacular and do a fantastic job but Malin Akerman and Taissa Farmiga really kill it in their respective roles as mother and daughter Max and Amanda (aka Nancy) and their talent and range of emotion adds a surprising amount of depth not only to their characters, but to the film. Making it almost kind of touching somehow. 

With The Final Girls, director Todd Strauss-Schulson offers up a very pleasant mix of typical horror tropes used then and now, making excellent use of many horror film elements such as flash backs, slow motion (which I laughed like a loon at) and of course cashing in on, and giving a bit of a spotlight to, the often overused premarital sex and boobs bring the killer around angle. All the comedic elements are present, making The Final Girls a thoroughly enjoyable watch that I highly recommend. If you are looking for a few good laughs and a film that doesn't get caught up in itself, look no further. This is it right here.

If you haven't seen The Final Girls yet, you must remedy that. Immediately.  It may not be everyone's shot of tequila, but it was certainly mine. And my favorite part? We are shown a perfect set up for a sequel at the film's end. A sequel I would watch without hesitation.

I give The Final Girls a solid 8/10 badass, psychopath killing virgins

 

 

 

Posted by Alan Smithee

2 comments

Samhain Bloodworth

I love this review! It eloquently underlines the very reasons I have a huge soft spot for this film and thank you for detailing the emotional core of Max’s relationship with her mum/ Nancy. It’s rare as hell that a horror film makes me cry but this managed.

Just a beautiful homage to 80s slashers with a real charm, it’s nice to know it’s loved by others too 😀

Thank you! 🙂

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