Have you ever watched a slasher film and asked the sort of questions like – ‘If this was real life I wonder what these characters would truly be like? What would their hopes and dreams be? What would their fears be? (Other than a psycho serial killer)’. The Final Girls looks into these questions producing a mother-daughter love story hidden in a slasher film. Quite literally.
The Final Girls is about mother Amanda Cartwright (Malin Akerman) an actress who had her big hit decades before in the slasher Camp Bloodbath. In current day she is finding it hard to secure another acting gig and struggles to support her teenage daughter Max (Taissa Farmiga). After a car accident Amanda dies leaving Max to find her way in the world and deal with high school. At a screening of her mother’s infamous film Max and her friends are quite literally sucked into the film and find themselves fighting for their lives in Camp Bloodbath.
The Final Girls really plays around with genre, obviously mostly with the slasher genre. It takes a lot of its queues and stereotypes of characters from 80’s films such as Friday the 13th and other teen camp films. It also fleshes out what are usually two dimensional characters into real people, especially the relationship between Max and her mother (even though the character that looks like her mother is the character from Camp Bloodbath Nancy and not her mother). Yet they create a bond and Max has her own sort of closure.
It’s not all serious stuff, there are a lot of jokes and satire in the film. Some damn clever ones at that. I laughed out loud at a lot of the manipulation of expectations we have of the slasher film that The Final Girls have glee in messing around with. A film like this could only be made now in 2015 but it was a real joy to watch and dare I say it I was quite touched at the end. I often wonder what the lives of characters in horror films would be like before the action of the film and The Final Girls brings these questions onto screen. The acting in this is awesome. Taissa is a great final girl as we also saw her show off her acting skills in American Horror Story. I loved the cinematography in this one too, great use of colours and black and white.
I enjoyed this one immensely. I think you will too.
THE FINAL GIRLS is directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson and stars Taissa Farmiga, Malin Akerman, Alexander Ludwig, Nina Dobrev, Alia Shawkat, Thomas Middleditch, Adam Devine, Tory N. Thompson and Angela Trimbur. It is now available on demand and in limited theaters.