Newest Reviews
1 chance sur 2
Scooby-Doo! Abracadabra-Doo
Yin Yang Master, The
Hail, Mafia!
Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase
Strange House, The
Morfalous, Les
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Funeral, The
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Final Girls, The Outrun The Past
Year: 2015
Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Stars: Taissa Farmiga, Malin Akerman, Alexander Ludwig, Nina Dobrev, Alia Shawkat, Thomas Middleditch, Adam DeVine, Angela Trimbur, Chloe Bridges, Tory N. Thompson, Reginald Robinson, Lauren Gros, Dan B. Norris, Eric Michael Carney, Cory Hart, Jackie Tuttle
Genre: Horror, ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Max Cartwright (Taissa Farmiga) was happy enough a year ago, well, she had to deal with her actress mother Amanda (Malin Akerman), but she was content living with her and supporting her through those many tough auditions where Amanda tried to prove she wasn’t just that girl from that horror movie from the nineteen-eighties and had what it took to be a serious actress with genuine talent. But that fateful day after yet another audition, Amanda was driving back with Max and threw her bills and final demands out of the window, then started singing along with her favourite song on the car stereo – then the accident happened, killing her outright and leaving Max without her mother. So now, given an invite to a screening of her mother’s most famous movie, she balks…

That’s right, it was eighties retro time again, a strain of cultural revival that was dominating the early twenty-first century in a way that rivalled the nineties love of the sixties and seventies for engrossed nostalgia. But this had a deeper link to the past as one of the screenwriters was Joshua John Miller, and yes, he had appeared in eighties horror Near Dark as a kid, as well as not-horror-but-still-brutal teen film River’s Edge, but he was also the son of Jason Miller, who had starred in perhaps the most famous horror film of the twentieth century The Exorcist and had spent the rest of his career trying to live it down, such was the weird effect one megahit can have on a talent who doesn’t quite follow that up.

Certainly Miller’s plays did very well, so he had that alternative string to his bow, yet he would always be Father Karras to the majority of audiences, and if The Final Girls was to be believed, his son always wished another big success on him which never really came. Therefore this may have been a horror comedy, preferring the goofier side of the humour of the slasher rather than the splatstick of the actual decade it was paying tribute to, but it was also tempered with a surprisingly deeply felt sense of the emotional aspect of the characters and how they related to real life. The gimmick was that when Max and four pals go to see the revival of her mother’s signature shocker a fire breaks out and they are forced to escape through the torn screen.

Whereupon they find themselves in the actual Friday the 13th rip-off flick that they were supposed to be watching, but now are living. They meet the characters from the film within the film, including clown Adam DeVine, token person of colour Tory N. Thompson and regulation nympho Angela Trimbur, who seen through the modern eyes of the newcomers appear to be incredibly outdated in concept which may be applicable for some retro fun, but considering there is a serial killer at the rural camp they are counsellors at, two-dimensional personalities aren’t going to be easily persuaded that the pressing matter of impending death can be outwitted with genre savvy. You can see how what might have been simple was actually rather complicated.

And director Todd Strauss-Schulson nearly managed to pull this complex tone off, yet at the same time demonstrated that there was a reason vintage slashers, and even contemporary slashers, failed to delve into the inner lives of their characters, and that was that such concerns didn’t usually fit too well. When Max sees her mother’s role of nice virgin Nancy looking exactly as she remembered her late parent to look, it’s understandably wrenching, but we didn’t have the same sensation when all around was telling us we shouldn’t be taking it so seriously, or at least it sent a confusing message as to what our reaction should be. No doubt about it, there were some crunching gear changes in The Final Girls, but what kept it afloat were a brace of game performances – aside from the aforementioned Alia Shawkat was ideal as the snarky best friend, Nina Dobrev inhabited the bitchy pal who sees the error of her ways, and Thomas Middleditch took on the “guy in Scream who understands all the rules” part with nerdy satisfaction. It probably said too much to point out that Shawkat got the biggest laugh in the end credits outtakes, but the good cheer about what went before that made you warm to it, flaws and all. Music by Gregory James Jenkins (synths, natch).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2069 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith


Last Updated: