The Final Girls (2015) Review: Popcorn Fun
|Synopsis: A young woman grieving the loss of her mother, a famous scream queen from the 1980s, finds herself pulled into the world of her mom’s most famous movie. Reunited, the women must fight off the film’s maniacal killer.|
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One of my early notes on The Final Girls was: “entertaining thus far, but not as good as it could be.” And sadly, that was how most of the movie went. Even with the excellent premise, decent actors, and high level of polish, The Final Girls often felt lacking to me – less because it wasn’t good, and more because I was always acutely aware of how much better it could have been.
The Final Girls is extremely meta, but in a fun way. A group of teens (including Alia Shawkat and Thomas Middleditch) find themselves somehow trapped inside a horror movie Max’s (Taissa Farmiga) recently-deceased mom filmed years ago, and are horrified to find themselves actually in danger. As they struggle to survive the movie and understand its rules, Max is drawn to her mother’s character Nancy (Malin Akerman), hoping against hope that she can change the movie and save her.
The concept of real people being trapped in a movie has definitely been done, but The Final Girls tries hard to keep things fresh and mostly succeeds. Subtitles become obstacles; flashback sequences become escape routes, and the characters are eventually persuaded to help the teens try to change the ending. Most poignant of all is Max desperately trying to spend more time with the character played by her mother. Sequences between them were oddly heart-wrenching for such a supposedly lighthearted movie.
Despite having a much bigger dose of feels than expected, The Final Girls is still fun. It’s more of a summer blockbuster than a horror movie, though, and should be safe for all but the scarediest of viewers. It manages to exploit horror tropes while still keeping things fairly sanitized, which means it’s good for watching with those who aren’t quite sold on the genre. If you watch this movie, make an event out of it – it’ll be more fun.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: B
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