The Final Girls
Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Writer: Joshua John Miller, M.A. Fortin
Cast: Taissa Farmiga, Malin Akerman, Alexander Ludwig, Nina Dobrev, Alia Shawkat, Thomas Middleditch, Adam DeVine, Angela Trimbur, Chloe Bridges, Tory N. Thompson
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 26.9.2015
[Review by cornholio.]
When Amanda (Malin Akerman) was younger, she played a part in a slasher – Camp Bloodbath – that has since risen to cult status, but now she’s struggling through endless castings. At least she can always count on her daughter Max (Taissa Farmiga). But their harmonious, albeit precarious existence is blown apart when Amanda dies suddenly. Max tries her best to deal with her grief, but it’s hard. When there is a tribute screening of Camp Bloodbath, Max can barely bring herself to attend, but she lets herself get dragged there. Then she and her friends somehow get sucked into the film itself and maybe this time, Max will get the chance to save her mother’s life.
I absolutely loved Final Girls. It’s a genre-savy meta parody that has a lot of love for the movies it pokes fun at and it even adds an honest emotional core.
The Final Girls knows as much about horror movie rules (and even manages to include some general film conventions in its parody) as Scream and it uses it just as effectively. Only where Scream managed to be both a parody of a horror movie and a horror movie itself, Final Girls is perfectly happy to be a comedy and to not be scary at all. And since it is a great comedy, that is a very good thing. I laughed until I cried.
And then I cried until I cried as well because all that comedy and meta level is built on a solid emotional foundation. Not only did I simply like all of the characters, Max’ grief is palpable and her relationship with her mother comes very much to life, adding a little bittersweetness to the unhinged energy and the romp through genre rules.
Part of this strength comes from Malin Akerman who, so far from what I’ve seen, hadn’t impressed me with her acting chops (admittedly she usually also didn’t have the best roles) but here she really is a star and she shines over most of the cast. Although Angela Trimbur definitely gave her a run for her money. That is not to say that the rest of the cast is bad, but those two were just particularly outstanding. And I have to mention Nina Dobrev who is so unbelievably beautiful it’s hard to see that she’s also not a bad actress.
In any case The Final Girls was a loveable, funny film that didn’t have one boring minute and a parody that manages to be respectful and loving of its source material. In short: it’s the perfect way to spend an evening.