The Final Girls: Meta-Horror A Funny Heartfelt Future Classic


Camp Bloodbath Has Taken Its Love Of Counselors One Step Too Far


A young woman must faces her biggest fears if she hopes to regain what she’s lost. Three years after the sudden passing of her actress mother, Max is asked to attend a special screening of her mother’s most revered film: Camp Bloodbath. But when a freak accident causes the theater to go up in flames, Max and her friends are transported back to 1986 while becoming part of the bloodbath itself. Now Max must try to save her mother from the cinematic fate that awaits her while the group attempts to outwit the Camp Bloodbath’s vengeful killer. They could try to escape, but the movie has different plans for the once-upon-a-time spectators. Watching horror movies can be tough for some. For others, it’s a way of life. Welcome to The Final Girls.

I Don’t Think We’re In The Valley Anymore-Duncan


I remember growing up and having Friday the 13th marathons with my Uncle Marty. I was probably seven or so at the time, and I watched half the movies between parted fingers. From then on, the series was an obsession of mine. In the years since, I’ve not only become a super fan, but an avid viewer of the slasher genre in general. Throw in my obsession with John Carpenter’s immortal Halloween and you basically can imagine how I spend my youth; my best friends were Michael, Jason, and Freddy. So when I finally caught the trailer for The Final Girls, I was more interested than a crossing guard looking for a stop sign. After actually seeing the film, nothing could stop me from immediately watching the future classic again. So let’s all sing Kumbaya, build a lasting fire, and try to remember the name of that cute counselor as I review the 2015 meta-slasher scare fest, Todd Strauss-Schulson’s The Final Girls.


The acting in The Final Girls is surprisingly sharp for a film skewering a genre known for less-than-stellar performances.

Malin Akerman gives the strongest performance in the film. Akerman, who also stared in Zack Snyder’s 2008 comic-epic Watchman and who had a guest starring role on HBO’s hit comedy Entourage(2004-2001), really shows her true range as Amanda Cartwright in The Final Girls. What’s most interesting, and ultimately challenging for the actress, is Akerman’s essentially playing two versions of the same character. This becomes a subtle challenge for the actress as she has to give hints that her Camp Bloodbath character Nancy is still the actual actress Amanda. It’s hard to explain with the intensely genius meta nature of the story but it truly plays Deadites.

Taissa Farmiga is also bring the A games to the task of portraying Max. Playing the protagonist of The Final Girls, Farmiga has a lot on her plate in a film that will go criminally unseen-but destined for the elite cult category. There are many scenes where the actress shows why she picked this crazy profession; she’s amazing at it,. The climax of the film and the scene where she meets her mother as the character from Camp Bloodbath stand out.

Then there’s the great comedy relief in the form of Thomas Middleditch. Playing horror-loving nerd Duncan, Middleditch is perfectly cast here. The actor, who is currently enjoying a successfully run on Mike Judge’s HBO comedy Silicon Valley (2014-), is scene staling left and right in The Final Girls. From the moment the actor comes on screen, you instant have a bond with Duncan. He’s goofy, no doubt about that, but he means well and it’s an extremely endearing character. It didn’t hurt that he’s the character most like me. (A-)


It’s been a while since I’ve been obsessed with a film and Strauss-Schulson is a big reason why The Final Girls is now one of my all-time favorites.

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While I’ve seen stronger composition, the camera work in the film is stunning. There are so many examples where the filmmaker begins on one principle or idea and moves his camera to a stopping point of another. While there are many instances , one that stick out in my head is when the group sits down to view Camp Bloodbath. The camera starts at the beginning of the theaters and moves all the way to the end down to the seats where our characters are about to enjoy the show. It’s just one of many examples where it’s entirely obvious the director at the helm is a visionary.

Another strength of the filmmaker is how amazingly beautiful the world within the film, Camp Bloodbath, is. I’ve heard some critics say the magical setting of the film within a film tarnishes the homage to the slasher genre, but I argue differently.

The film isn’t about the horror genre exclusively, but a love letter to the medium itself. Every person who loves movies has undoubtedly thought about how amazing it would be to be in their favorite film, and how magical that world would be. It wouldn’t matter what the film was, but the idea of being in that world is so exciting that it you would feel as if you’re the Dorothy of the silver screen and searching for your Oz. Only here, we horror buffs get the world of a slasher as the cinematic sandbox. The results are astounding, and simply put, Deadites, The Final Girls is a ride you’d drive to Kansas to experience again. (A)


M.A Fortin and Joshua John Miller’s script is a landmark story in our genre. The acts move equally fast and the dialog razor sharp .The script does so many aspects of storytelling right, while infusing that with invention and genius.

When the group gets sucked into the film, Camp Bloodbath, it’s a magical place which mirrors Wonderland or Oz. Only its infused with Friday The 13th as its womb for creation. Even when characters you care about are being killed, you still ironically want to be in the film yourself. It’s a fun ride with many twists.

Friday the 13th fans in particular will get a kick out of the film’s humor and jabs out our beloved horror genre. The two screenwriters are clearly massive fans of the genre, giving fans a love letter to the films once called worse than pornography.

From the bloody beginning, The Final Girls is about love and loss. The narrative hinges on the relationship between Max and her mother Amanda, and is strongest when paying off these elements. While the world is an amusing take on 80’s horror, the story is about the sorrow of losing someone and thinking about the possibility of seeing that person one last time. It’s beautifully set up and executed in The Final Girls.

Not only do you care about Max and Amanda, through great writhing, you also care about much of the supporting cast. Deadites I wouldn’t dare ruin it, but the most unlikely of characters(who you would hate in a lesser film) get sympathy by the film’s end.

The Final Girls is so good horror heads, it’s hard to do it justice here. (A+)


Todd Strauss-Schulson’s The Final Girls is the special kind of film that doesn’t come around very often. Its highly re-watchable, sharply written, and has a big heart at its core. A film that is not only made for us horror heads, but also for someone who has never seen a single horror film. A film that I love very much and count down the days till its released on beautiful blu-ray. I can’t recommend the film enough and I encourage everyone to see the film at all costs as it now proudly stands next to meta-genre classics Scott Glosserman’s Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006) and Drew Goddard’s Cabin in the Woods (2012) . This one is going to make Halloween 2015 extra special, gore ghouls. Deadites, you’ve been informed.


The Final Girls is now playing in a limited release and on VOD platforms everywhere

Next: 13 Films that Reinterpret the Final Girl

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