The Final Girls (2015) (DVD film review).

November 27, 2015 | By | Reply More

For the film ‘The Final Girls’, Max (Tassia Farmiga) is the orphaned child of Scream Queen Amanda Cartwright (Malin Akerman). Her only credit is the 80s teen slasher ‘Camp Bloodbath’. Since the film’s release, it has developed a cult following and Max is persuaded to attend a screening of the film and its sequel. Through a series of accidents and chances, Max and her friends end up in the film and find themselves having to influence the movie to ensure the demise of the film’s bad guy.


On the face of it, this sounds fairly convoluted and contrived. The reality is a well produced and acted film which succeeds and entertains. We are familiar with slasher flicks of the 70s and 80s. The tropes and conventions of said films have been successfully parodied in the Scary Movie films. In reality ‘Last Action Hero’ or ‘The Purple Rose Of Cairo’ are much nearer the mark.

The cast of mostly TV actors handle their roles with obvious relish. The roles of the 80s movie characters are handled with sufficient high camp to ring true. The contemporary characters are realised with highly skilled performances.

The best known actress Malin Akerman performs the dual roles of Amanda the struggling former actress and Nancy the perky camp counsellor quite brilliantly. The funniest aspect was the usual TV and movie stereotype of having an actor in their 30s playing a teenager. I recognised Adam DeVine from the ‘Pitch Perfect’ movies and Thomas Middleditch from TV’s ‘Silicon Valley’. The best performance was Tassia Farmiga as Max. She handled the emotional journey from reluctant student with second-hand celebrity to the titular final girl with a high degree of skill.

Particular credit is due to the director Todd Strauss-Schulson. The two realities have a distinct and recognisable texture and the film’s most visually satisfying moments come when these mix and switch. A mention must be made of the cinematography, too. Elie Smolkin gives the 80s scenes a bright golden glow which contrasts with the modern duller grey and blue hues. A stand-out scene is one where Max meets her dead mother’s film character sat under a tree in a flower strewn golden glade, it was quite stunning.

The movie’s PG13 rating has produced some negative press. A slasher pick of the era depicted would have had nudity and more graphic violence almost certainly. This is not a huge issue. It is clearly a comedy about said movie genre, and not an slasher movie itself. At its heart is a story about fixing past mistakes.

This is an out-and-out entertaining film. The laughs are based around knowing nods to a beloved and established series of films. Do not go into it expecting a horror gorefest as some of the publicity will have you believe.

Andy Bollan

November 2015

(region 2 DVD: pub: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. 1 DVD 88 minute film. Price: £11.87 (UK). ASIN: B011ECQ5WY)

Language: English

Subtitles: German, Finnish, Swedish, Polish, Italian, Norwegian, English, Danish, Turkish and Spanish

Dubbed: German, Italian, Spanish

Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English

cast: Malin Åkerman, Taissa Farmiga, Nina Dobrev, Alia Shawkat and Chloe Bridges

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Category: Films, Horror

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