The Final Girls
Film: The Final Girls
Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Writer: M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller
Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Malin Akerman and Adam Devine
This film begins with showing us a trailer for an 80’s slasher film called Camp Blood. We see that the person watching the trailer is Taissa Farmiga. She is waiting in the car and we see that on the floor in front of her are headshots for her mother, who is played by Malin Akerman. Akerman starred in this awesomely bad slasher film and she is currently auditioning for a role. Having played in this film though, it has followed her for her whole career. Farmiga is worried about the bills that haven’t been paid and Akerman tries to get her to not worry. They end up getting in an accident that kills Akerman.
Farmiga is struggling with what has happened. She is struggling in school. Her best friend, who is played by Alia Shawkat, wants her to try to keep her mind off of it and go study with a cute boy. This guy is played by Alexander Ludwig. He studies with both Farmiga and Shawkat, when Shawkat’s half-brother comes into the diner. He is played by Thomas Middleditch. He is a big fan of Camp Blood and wants Farmiga to come to the showing of it and its sequel to represent her mother. The one year anniversary is the same day as the showing, but she doesn’t want to do it. He convinces her by doing her homework for the rest of the school year so she can graduate.
She goes with Shawkat and they end up running into Ludwig. He clearly has a thing for Farmiga and he is there for support. The problem is his ex-girlfriend also shows up to the showing, she is played by Nina Dobrev. She clearly wants him back so she is doing everything she can. Dobrev and Farmiga also used to be best friends.
They go into the theater and the film starts to play. Farmiga at first is happy to see her mother on the big screen. There are a few things that happen in the film that happen in the audience watching it. A fire then breaks out, blocking the exits. Farmiga comes up with the idea to cut the screen, because there should be an exit behind it. They go through it.
The problem is that they come out into the film. The Volkswagen van pulls with Adam Devine driving and Angela Trimbur riding shotgun. They allow them to drive off a couple times, but 92 minutes later, the van comes back through. This is the exact running time of the film. The third time they decide to get in the van.
This group has to follow what the film does and this leads them to the first kill of the film. Middleditch thinks that they are not part of it and are safe when the masked killer, Billy doesn’t react to him. This is proven to be false when he is killed.
They must now fight for their lives and try to get out of the film. They have an advantage knowing what happens in the movie. Can they get out of it before Billy claims them all or will they all be picked off one by one? Farmiga sees a chance to bring her mother out of the film, will that work? Can she be made into a final girl?
Now I want to lead off with this review saying that I’ve heard a lot about this film from the podcasts that I listen to. I decided to finally check it out and I have to say that I’m very glad I did. This film is amazing to me. This is one of those meta films that knows what it is doing and it pokes fun at the genre. I love that the writing of Camp Blood is very bad, as many of the slashers from the time were. This film is interesting to me as well because it is parodying Friday the 13th, Halloween and The Burning. It does a great job as well as sticking to the rules of the slasher film as well as ruining how the film was supposed to go. I was quite impressed with the writing of this film. I will say that I’m not a huge fan of the killer in the film; I thought his mask looked stupid, but I think that the film was trying to make him overly outrageous, so it makes sense to me. Plus we give the legend of the killer, but not really much about him other than that. The ending was okay to me, it has a decent twist, but I think it is more powerful what happens right before it. It is even more to learn that the writer of this film wrote this as his father, who was Father Karras from the Exorcist, passed away and he wrote this to get over the grieving of him.
The acting was superb to me. Farmiga I have seen in American Horror Story and she really does great at horror. I really hope she does more, because she could definitely become a great scream queen. I’m also a big fan of Akerman and I felt that the emotion she brings at the climax was great. It had me tear up a bit. Dobrev and Trimbur I found to be great looking as well as playing the roles they are supposed to perfect. Shawkat and Middleditch were hilarious. I also really liked Ludwig in the role that he played. It is interesting, because I watch him in Vikings and it is good to see that despite his size, he can tone the character down as well.
As for the editing of this film, I feel they did a great job with it. I’m going to combine this with the look as well. When they are in the present, it looks great. When they show the trailer, the film itself and when the characters go into the film, it looks a little grainier. This being that it is supposed to be film and the 80’s. The world also has bright colors that make it feel a little bit more surreal. Then when they go into a flashback, I like the effect they use and making the world go black and white. The characters even see it as black and white when they are in it. I love the music choices for this film as well. I did have an issue with the car accident scene as it was done by computers. I won’t hold it against the film too much, because it did look great. If you know me though, I prefer practically effects.
Now with that said, I would recommend this film. If you love slashers, especially the ones from the heyday in the 80’s I think you’ll really enjoy this film. Now it isn’t as bloody and actually has a PG-13 rating. I would have liked to see it at an R, but despite that it is solid. This film is meta and pokes fun at the genre, while itself turning into a solid slasher film. The film’s writing was great. The acting was as well. I liked the look of the film, as you could tell they consciously made it look different from the real world to the film world. The soundtrack was great as well. This film is definitely worth at least a viewing.
My Rating: 8 out of 10