First, this should not be confused with another Alexander Ludwig movie entitled Final Girl (which topbills Abigail Breslin) but I just found it weird that the same actor was cast for two different roles in movies that sported such similar titles. But anyway, I must confess that The Final Girls was a horror comedy that I sincerely loved and hated at the same time. I’m still in a daze as Bette Davis Eyes long plays as my last song syndrome.
Synopsis: Max (Taissa Farmiga) loses her mom (Malin Ackerman), a famous scream queen from the 1980s, in a car accident and gets invited to attend a tribute showing of her slasher films Camp Bloodbath on her death anniversary. As a fire accidentally breaks out at the theater, Max and her friends are mysteriously transported inside the movie and pretty soon, they are faced with as much danger of dying as the characters in the film.
I loved the film for its tongue in cheek approach to the material. It poked fun at the campiness of 1980s horror and mainly spoofed the concept of Friday the 13th. It was funny, especially at the time Max and company were figuring out the rules to stay alive in the movie. I loved the character of Kurt. He was a douchebag but he owned it.
I liked the dynamic between Max and her mom. There was a genuine connection between the two characters that transcended the real life timeline and the movie timeline and their final scene in the movie ran parallel with that of her final scene in real life. Their relationship mirrored that of the other and contributed to the overall consistency of the film.
I also liked how a big guy like Alexander Ludwig acted all goofy and uncertain and took Max’s side in everything. It was really sweet how his character Chris always looked out for Max and always asked her if she was okay. Cute and thoughtful — check. I wish they could have built up on this angle more too.
While there were many elements of the film I appreciated, I didn’t like the fact that there didn’t seem to be any real sense of danger for the characters. Because there was a formula, it just seemed like a given that almost everybody will have to die for there to be a final girl to end the main villain of the piece. Characters were dispensed with without much fanfare and in such short intervals, there was actually no real moment of horror that took place. I would have appreciated more gore. After all, it was already a film that embraced its campiness so blood and guts would have benefited the overall impact of the film.
All in all, The Final Girls was not a bad stab at the horror comedy genre. I felt it lacked that elusive element to make it great but it wasn’t a bad movie per se. Not bad at all.