Sunday, 25 October 2015

The Final Girls

"The Final Girls" (2015, Todd Strauss-Schulson, Groundswell Productions, Studio Solutions, Ulterior Productions, Stage 6 Films, Vertical Entertainment) is a satirical slasher horror comedy.

Max (Taissa Farmiga) is the daughter of a B-movie scream queen called Amanda (Malin Åkerman) who has been typecast since her role as shy-girl Nancy in cult 80s B-movie "Camp Bloodbath" (a clear homage to "Friday the 13th"). On their way home from one of Amanda's auditions they are involved in an awful car accident, leaving Max as the sole survivor.

Three years later, on the anniversary of her mother's death, Max is convinced by her best friend's horror-obsessed stepbrother, Duncan (Thomas Middleditch), to attend a screening of "Camp Bloodbath" at the local cinema. Her best friend, Gertie (Alia Shawkat), and her crush, Chris (Alexander Ludwig) both agree to come with her. During the show a horrific fire breaks out and Max, Duncan, Chris, Gertie and Chris' possessive ex, Vicki (Nina Dobrev), all escape by tearing a hole in the cinema screen. When they get through they realise, however, that they have somehow found themselves inside the film and are unable to escape!

The gang have to join the film's cast of clichéd 80s horror characters in the film's plot and attempt not to get killed by the machete wielding, masked murderer, Billy (Dan B. Morris). However, thanks to Duncan, they are all too aware of the horror 'rules' and Max also has to get used to seeing her mother again in the flesh as an unwitting, teen camp counsellor.

An interesting premise which sounds a lot hoakier than it is. This film was really entertaining. The cast, as well as being recognisable, are really great. The characters are a great blend of purposefully twee and actually likeable. The plot is silly, but the film enjoys some really nice camera work and good comedic writing. Whilst it's not an entirely original idea to explore the horror 'rules', "The Final Girls" also enjoys a surprising level of emotion and stands out as a fun example of satirical horror.

[Image: Groundswell Productions, et al]

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