Final Girl that just came out two months ago and even stars the same actor (Alexander Ludwig), but The Final Girls is a better film and one worth seeing this Scary Movie Month.
The Final Girls, the new film from director Todd Strauss-Schulson (A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas), is the most "meta" horror movie since The Cabin in the Woods. That's a word that will no doubt be thrown around a lot in relation to this film, a fact I'm sure will grow tiresome for the filmmakers. All the same, it's a movie that goes out of its way to comment on the tropes a single horror subgenre -- in this case the '80s slasher film (as opposed to tackling all horror films, which is Cabin in the Woods' raison d'être) -- and instills what might otherwise be a thin postmodern exercise with a surprising amount of emotion. In fact, it's the emotional stuff that really works.
Taissa Farmiga (
Near Dark) isn't really concerned with our relationship to art, but rather with "sending up" the slasher genre in only the broadest strokes. Unfortunately, it gets a lot of things wrong, whether it's the douchey character played by Adam DeVine or Warrant's "Cherry Pie" playing on the soundtrack despite the events of Camp Blood being set a few years before. These may seem like nitpicks, sure, but why go to the trouble of doing this kind of meta deconstruction if it's not for the fans and students of the thing being sent up?
There's plenty of other stuff to like, too. The cast is all appealing and do good work in their respective parts, whether it's Nina Dobrev's thankless role as the bitchy ex-girlfriend (who fails to really be bitchy because again the movie keeps moving the goal posts) or Angela Trimbur's turn as the dim-witted Tina, a character in the movie-within-the-movie who has a Ritalin-fueled dance number that might be the comic high point. When the more "meta" visual jokes land, they really land and suggest a movie willing to go much further with textual weirdness. Then it switches back to being a fairly toothless spoof of slasher movies and some of the air gets let out.
The Final Girls is out today, October 9, in theaters and on VOD.