The Final Girls (Movie Review)

This week I'm talking about the movie The Final Girls. As I wrote about last week, I'm watching one movie a week in 2024.

I chose The Final Girls because I like the actress Nina Dobrev. She plays a key role, though she's not the lead.

The Premise Of The Final Girls

Movie list on my new Kindle Scribe

Main character Max's mother is an actress best known for a starring role in a classic cult horror movie. Max and her mother are very close, which is easy to see in the opening scene. But tragedy strikes, and her mother is killed in a car crash when Max is still a teenager.

Three years later Max gets roped into attending an anniversary showing of Camp Bloodbath and its sequel. She's avoided the films for a lot of reasons, including that her mom really wanted to be known for more serious roles.

Max and her friends, including a somewhat mean girl played by Nina Dobrev, get catapulted into the horror movie. They all realize they need to stay with the character who will be the “final girl” — the one who doesn't have sex and who survives.

But this is tricky as their actions affect the plot. And it's especially challenging for Max, who begins to see the character as her mother and really wants to spend time with her.

What I Liked

  • what at first looked like just a fun satire of campy slasher movies turned out to include layered, likeable characters with story arcs beyond the horror
  • the ways the film explored and critiqued horror tropes without being preachy
  • real connections, conversations, and growth between the female characters (yes, it passes the Bechdel test)
  • the mix of horror and comedy (how could I not love that being host of a podcast about Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

What Didn't Work As Well

  • the pace was a bit slow, though in some ways I enjoyed that as it gave time to get to know the characters 
  • the first half hour or so was predictable and I almost stopped watching, thinking it would just be a spoof–as noted above, though, it turned into much more, so I'm glad I stuck with it

Three Stars (Of Five)

Cover The Final Girls

I give The Final Girls 3 stars for fun, character development, and some surprising twists. It's a great watch for an evening at home. I found it on Amazon Prime.

What's next? I'm not absolutely certain, but I'm thinking Our Father, a film about two sisters who go in search of their estranged uncle after their father dies. 

Lisa M. Lilly

P.S. Click here to read last week's look at sci fi thriller What Happened To Monday.