Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Writers: M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller
Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Malin Åkerman, Adam DeVine, Thomas Middleditch, Alia Shawkat, Alexander Ludwig and Nina Dobrev
The 1980s were ripe with horror films, and specifically slashers. After the popularity of films such as Halloween and Friday the 13th it seems like everyone started making their own versions of them. The Final Girls is an homage to that era.
Max (Tassia Farmiga) lost her mum Amanda (Malin Åkerman) in a horrible car crash. Three years after the accident, Max goes to a screening of Camp Bloodbath a horror film that her mum starred in when she was a teenager. A fire breaks out in the cinema and to escape Max and her friends break through the screen and end up entering the film itself. They follow the plot, trying to escape the killer and looking for a way to escape the film-world and get back to reality.
The film starts with a trailer for Camp Bloodbath, the film that the main characters will eventually become a part of. The trailer tells you everything you need to know. It’s a parody of Friday the 13th mixed with other 80s horror films. The acting is over the top in the best way possible and it’s really funny. If you watch this and don’t enjoy the hammy trailer, then the film isn’t for you. It’s an homage to 80s horror and all the cliches and bad acting that filled the decade.
The whole thing is full of references to horror films from the era. It doesn’t just stop with the trailer once it gets going. There are familiar sound effects and music queues. You don’t need to know 80s horror well to like the film, but it does help. It’s still a great comedy without the references. There are so many great and funny moments especially the bloopers throughout the credits.
The cast are all excellent, with the 1980s horror film actors as over the top as expected. They are all funny and play off each other really well. Thomas Middleditch is perfect as Duncan the horror obsessed fan who helps organises the screening of Camp Bloodbath that goes so horribly wrong. Taissa Farmiga is excellent as Max, who is still grieving for her mother. Adam DeVine as Kurt is creepy and over the top in the best ways.
The music in the film is very reminiscent of the decade that inspired it. There’s a lot of synths and 80s songs that fill the soundtrack and score. It works really well. The effects are also decent enough. The camera is a little wonky at points, especially in the action sequences later in the film. It can be a little hard to make out everything that’s happening, but it’s only a small problem.
The Final Girls is an excellent tribute to one of the best decades of horror. After Friday the 13th there were tons of summer camp slashers, and this one fits nicely alongside it. It’s funny and smart and works really well. It feels like a more modern Scream with the references and cliches, but it’s not got the same horror that Scream has. It’s a comedy and a really good one at that.