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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Monday, June 4, 2018

The Final Girls (2015)

The Slasher movie marathon continues with the Final Girls. After watching Pool Party Massacre I was in the mood to watch another “new” slasher and this one from 2015 kept popping up on iTunes. Normally I never trust that sort of thing, but this time around I figured I’d give it a shot. This isn’t at all what I thought I was signing up for and that is a great thing.

The movie opens with a young woman named Max sitting in a car waiting. Soon she is joined by her mother who is an actress and was auditioning for a role. Her mom mentions that she is best known for a slasher movie she made before Max was born and then there is a car accident! Things fast forward three years and we find that Max is living with her aunt and that her mother died in the accident. She gets roped into a special screening of Camp Bloodbath, her mom’s slasher flick. After a series of events in the theater that mirror what is happening on screen a fire breaks out and while trying to escape the theater Max and her friends end up in the movie! Not only do they have to figure out what the rules are and how to escape, but Max gets to interact with a much younger version of her mother.

The plot synopsis that I read was similar to what I have written above for this review. It seemed like an interesting excuse to stick some of today’s kids into the ‘80s for some slasher goodness. That sort of happens, but there is so much more going on. First, I never expected the movie to be so sweet. Max and her mother as written really care about each other and the actresses have a chemistry that works. The story isn’t afraid to spend time with them in non-horror movie scenes and it is these scenes that gives The Final Girls all of its emotional impact. I really liked these characters which surprised the hell out of me.

Taking a selfie with the killer? This ends badly...
The comedy started out about as I expected it too. There is the typical horror movie geek that knows every scene and character by heart. He even encourages one of them to insult him just for fun. Bit of a spoiler coming. Okay I warned you. This is the first character that dies! So instead of an annoying play by play that has been copied with decreasing success since the original Scream the comedy comes from the other characters. Personally, I love the dumb blonde whom they basically have to tie up to keep from taking her clothes off! See the rules are if you have sex or get naked the killer shows up. Makes sense. But her reactions to cell phones and basically everything around her is funny. The actress, Angela Trimbur, is so damn good in this role. It isn’t easy to be this silly and still be likeable.  

The kills are okay, but mostly CGI and/or off-screen. For a movie that is supposed to be a slasher from the ‘80s that was disappointing. It would have been cool to see some latex, even poorly executed would have fit in better. There are some neat visuals as the characters deal with flashbacks and slow-motion. Overall, I found The Final Girls to be decently made.

I would recommend checking out The Final Girls. It has an unexpected heart to the characters and story while serving at the same time to poke fun at the slasher genre. And they totally got me with the ending. I was ready to be disappointed but then they took it in an unexpected direction that makes me so wish a sequel was in the works.  

© Copyright 2018 John Shatzer

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