I was a kid born in the eighties which meant that in the late 90’s I was there for that brief resurgence in horror films. I was too young to go see them in the cinema but me and my friends would do anything possible to get a VHS copy of the horror films. We would usually all sit and watch them as a group trying to see who gets scared first. It’s for this reason that The Final Girls really spoke to me, it brought me back to my early teen years, sitting with a group of friends enjoying a good horror movie. More than that the film pulls off the comedy horror perfectly. There have been good comedy horror in the past but they lend themselves more to the comedy but this film is horror first, in fact it does all this while making a compelling and serious sub plot about the relationships between children and their parents. The film involves a group of ‘friends’ being trapped inside a horror film, which one of the girls mothers starred in, the premise is like The Never Ending story meets Friday the 13th.
The whole film is a tribute to Friday the 13th (well placed as we watched it on Friday 13th March, 2015) but more than that it’s a love letter to slasher flicks everywhere. The Final Girls takes the classic summer camp under attack scenario and flips it on its head and turns it back up right. It shatters the 4th wall but stays grounded and uses black comedy mixed with some great whit and even a little slap stick to give you the gorgeous mix that will have you in stitches and even make you jump once or twice, this is no easy feet to pull off. Todd Strauss-Schulson was the Director and captain of this ship and he really did an amazing job as he took a very good idea that could have failed due to its own complexity and instead made this wonderful picture.
Casting was spot on, on so may levels. The trapped kids where just hilarious, failing on numerous occasions to remember what decade they are in and the consequences of the world that they are in. Thomas Middleditch plays the group nerd who is the only one happy to be there, at least at first. A big surprise for me was Alexander Ludwig, I’m used to seeing him as a bad ass in Vikings and the Hunger games but it was awesome to see him in a role where he gets to be an average guy, who isn’t afraid to run away screaming when the moment calls for it. As for the camp councillors they where brilliant and they had their stereotypes and they would take those molds and when possible shatter them. Adam DeVine was the douche bag guy who just loved him some cleavage, Chloe Bridges was the kick ass (by 80s standards) Paula, Tory N. Thompson was that cool black guy who was into music that popped up in a lot of 80’s films, rounding out this roster was Angela Trimbur playing the girl who just couldnt keep her clothes on and performing one of, if not the most ridiculous stripping scenes in film history. Dab B Norris needs an applause for this too because he plays the killer so well, he is this weird mixture of ever present and void all at once, he is truly terrifying in all his scenes.
Saving the best till last these two ladies where brilliant together and have a great on screen chemistry. Taissa Farmiga and Malin Akerman have such great onscreen chemistry you generally would think they where related. Taissa’s evolution throughout the film is brilliant from the fun loving teen,to cynical and in the end a badass heroine. Still my favourite performance for this film was Malin anyone who can make Betty Davis eyes funny, dorky, sexy and heroic needs to be applauded, watch the film you will understand. The scenes between these two generally made me quite emotional, the film is just great fun to watch and it’s one I would advise everyone to go see. Somebody needs to help distribute this film so that everyone else can get a chance to see this film.
2015 SXSW Film Festival Screening:
The World Premiere for The Final Girls was Friday, March 13th at 10:00pm at the Paramount Theatre.
Running time: 88 mins approx.
Genre: Comedy Horror
Release dates: Currently The Final Girls was only scheduled for the screening at the 2015 SXSW Film Festival.
The 2015 SXSW Film Festival ran from March 13 to March 21 in Austin, Texas.