Don't forget to join in on the month long celebration of horror with #ScaryMovieMonthAtDCM
Films can have many purposes. There are some films made to inform the general public of a certain event that once happened, that event being either good or bad. There are some films made to show a point of view about something. There are some films made to exploit a particular person's actions. There are some films made to bring hope and joy into your life, giving you something to aspire to or think about. There are some films made to let people have a deep understanding of a rather tricky subject matter, putting it together into a story and subtly explaining it to you. Then there are some films made purely for entertainment reasons, and The Final Girls is one of these.
The Final Girls follows the story of a young woman named Max (Taissa Farminga). Her mother (Malin Akerman) was an actress, famous for playing a supporting role in a now cult-classic horror movie. On the anniversary of her death, Max is invited to attend a public screening of this movie, titled 'Camp Bloodbath.' Halfway through the film, a fire breaks out. Max and her friends make their way to the exit behind the screen, but once they walk through, Max and co end up inside the film. They're forced to live it through until the final credits role, where they hope they'll be transported back to the real world. But with serial killer Billy Murphy (Dan B. Norris) on the loose, anything goes.
The Final Girls is a fun and original play on the slasher genre, in particular Friday the 13th. In similar vein to the Scream franchise, but not nearly as good, The Final Girls pokes fun at slasher films and the way they work. They joke around with nearly every component of them, teasing them without disrespecting them. You can tell the filmmakers behind this film really do enjoy these types of movies as this love transcends off the screen. But there does come a point where, in those types of movies, they do get repetitive and corny, and that's where The Final Girls finds all of its best jokes.
On top of being rather funny, the film is also quite creative, turning horror clichés into memorable sequences. Title sequences, voice over, flash backs, slow motion and so much more are transformed from being these eye-rolling moments to energetic, visually aesthetic and just damn good moments. When one of the characters recounts the origin of the film's antagonist, black and white liquid drops from the ceiling, teleporting our main cast members back in time, and it's fucking brilliant.
What took me for surprise about this movie was its emotional core. Max's relationship with her mother is touched upon during the films' opening scene. It's not shown in great detail, but you get the gist of their relationship and their viewpoint on life. You understand that they're close with one another and that their relationship means something to the both of them, and then the mother goes and dies. So once Max is able to meet up with her character in the film, you can really feel the impact, and there's a scene between them near the end of the film that I will admit hit me right in the feels. It really took me by surprise.
That being said, outside of those two characters, not everyone is awfully likeable, and it doesn't help if some of the performances are annoyingly over the top. There's three other characters that spring to mind in terms of likability, but everyone else just got on my nerves from time to time. You don't care if they die or not. In fact, I honestly hoped some of them would. They're annoying and their jokes fall flat, but most of them served a purpose, or at least helped to further make fun of its own genre. On a side note though, the most likeable and hilarious character in this whole movie is the one they kill off first.... great.
Despite having a lot of energy and some seriously phenomenal cinematography, The Final Girls can't help but feel a little clichéd from time to time. Don't get me wrong, I still stand by what I said when I mentioned how original this film is, but it's original in the way it uses its clichés. The clichés are still there, and not all of them are there just to be made fun of. The final outcome is rather predictable, it's just the journey there that's a lot of fun. Even some of its more creative moments can't help but be a little bit familiar, if that makes any sense whatsoever.....
To sum up, The Final Girls is a fun and original film that has a few clichés, but uses its clichés to make something bouncy and energetic. It's no Scream, but it's fun in its own right.