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The Final Girls (2015)

The Final Girls (2015)

Writers: M.A.Fortin, Joshua John Miller
Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson




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Full Review

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The Final Girls is a spoof slasher movie but unlike many other so-called spoofs it's smart and actually rather funny.

The story revolves around Max (Taissa Farmiga) whose mother Amanda (Malin Akerman) was the star of a cult classic 1980s slasher exploitation movie called Camp Bloodbath. During a showing of the movie Max and her friends are (for reasons never really explained) pulled into the film itself where they meet Amanda in character along with the other camp residents... and masked killer Billy (Dan B. Norris).

The movie-within-a-movie is really well done and much of the humour comes from laughing at the characters and clichés, such as the disfigured killer who only kills people after they've had sex. The film's title even comes from the cliché of the 'final girl' still alive who manages to defeat the killer.

The inherent dramatic irony between the two sets of characters is used to great effect as the 'real' people try to change the course of the film and avoid getting killed. There are also some lovely lines such as: "Why do we need a chainsaw for a slumber party?". It all builds up to that rare and precious thing, a satisfying ending.

The direction is well judged with just the right level of (appropriately) camp from the Camp Bloodbath players. The spoofing is done with both knowledge of and respect for the genre. And it's to Strauss-Schulson's credit that although Camp Bloodbath is all about exploitative sex and violence, The Final Girls doesn't need it.

It's not all perfect though, the script could have been tighter; there's some definite sag in the middle section. In addition some of the interaction between Max and her mother descends into a level of sentimentality that I don't think was intended as satire.

Despite those flaws, The Final Girls is a superior, intelligent horror spoof that will appeal to those who know the slasher genre.