The Final Girls
Slasher films are the basest kind of horror movie, so they are ripe for mockery. Yet most films that do really can’t get away with creating anything more than shallow parody. While a film like Scream managed to be entirely its own, there are many others that flounder. The Final Girls is a slasher flick spoof managing a degree of uniqueness while indulging in what it is sending up.
Imagine a horror film version of Last Action Hero; that’s The Final Girls, only good. Taissa Farmiga plays Max whose mother played by Malin Akerman was famous for being in an iconic 80s slasher film, Camp Bloodbath (essentially Friday the 13th). Max loses her mother in a car crash and the film picks up a few years later with her friends trying to get her to attend a midnight screening of Camp Bloodbath. A fire engulfs the theatre and the group tries to escape by cutting through the film screen to get out. Somehow the group is transporting into the film, and must play out the events of it in order to escape.
What makes The Final Girls work is the contrast between the group of actors, those of Camp Bloodbath and those transported. Director Todd Strauss-Schulson does a good job of making special effect choices allowing the characters to learn with the audience the rules of the parallel world they are in. We of course get all the low hanging fruit but we also see a rather solid mother-daughter story. Neither track gets in the way of the other, and we are allowed to just be silly more often than not.
Given Akerman is a plague of an actress, The Final Girls works. Its cast plays off their perceived youth embracing ridiculousness (we have actors in their late-20s and early 30s playing late-teens and early-20s) while being mature enough actors to easily deliver slasher terror response in a pleasing over the top manner.
A keen slasher comedy that’s quite entertaining.