The rules are simple. The good get spared. The bad get spoiled.
Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson
The Final Girls is yet another one of those “fresh” takes on the slasher flick. They’re all supposed to be so clever and so original and I’m starting to get tired of them. The twist this time out is that The Final Girls plays more like Purple Rose of Cairo meets Cabin in the Woods because the main characters are transported INTO the movie quite literally (maybe a little too literally) and it quickly becomes high concept (a little too high concept for its own good). And even though it’s kind of funny and I really like the cast, I didn’t like the movie. It just wasn’t as clever as it seems to think it is.
The Final Girls fails because it’s cartoonish (or cartoony) with its violence and because the cliché movie characters that we meet on this trip into slasher film world are more three-dimensional than the modern kids who find themselves in the picture.
I tried to like it, but The Final Girls is more of a clever idea you get while stoned than a clever film. An idea you get only to realize later that it’s a combination of already existent films and actually contains nothing original, leaps in logic and plot holes galore..
However I do like the cast. Taissa Farmiga is one of my favorite young actresses and I’ve always liked Malin Akerman. And most of the other cast members I have enjoyed in other things. Another good thing is the relationship between Akerman and Farmiga. Akerman plays her mother but she’s also an actress, so when Farmiga goes into the movie she interacts with the character her mother plays and that relationship is the best thing in the movie but it gets lost in the concept. And The Final Girls is funny at times. So as yet another dissection of 80s slasher movies, it’s worth checking out if only to compare it to its predecessors. But make no mistake it is not a good movie. It’s the film equivalent of taking a selfie with the killer. “He’s right behind me isn’t he?”
But because it handles its subject so whimsically there is very little jeopardy and we fully expect everyone who is killed to miraculously come back to life at the end. And because of this it abandons its core genre. It doesn’t respect its source material. Slasher movies are supposed to be scary, but The Final Girls is a comedy on the level of Scooby Doo: Where Are You with just as much fright as a Saturday morning cartoon show.
The Final Girls is a send-up of the 80s slasher film that wants to be so good and so clever and so funny. But its only mildly funny, mildly clever and not very good.