A young woman grieving for her mother gets sucked into one of her slasher films from the 80's, where the reunited women must fight off the film’s villain.
The Final Girls (2015)
Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson
Written by M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller
Starring Taissa Farmiga, Malin Akerman, Alexander Ludwig,
Nina Dobrev, Alia Shawkat, Thomas Middleditch, Adam Devine, Angela Trimbur, Chloe Bridges, Tory N. Thompson
While horror comedies have been around forever, the success of Scream in the 90's really helped open the doors for filmmakers to embrace a more meta approach. Something that, if we’re being honest, has been for both good and bad. For every film we get where the weak meta humor is used to hide other problems, we get gems like Behind the Mask. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. You get the idea. And, after seeing this film, we can add The Final Girls to the list. It also has an added benefit. Not only is it embracing the meta humor, the film literally takes place within a slasher film of the 80's. Thankfully, it also avoids coming off pretentious; unlike some other meta horror comedies.
If there is anything I’ve learned from watching the more meta driven horror comedies, they have to accomplish two things: being smart and funny. Not always easy to pull off, but The Final Girls makes it look easy. Again, something that is impressive given the film within a film plot. Our leads not only just point out very tropes, they have to actively avoid them themselves if they want to survive and make it back to their world. The cast does a magnificent job of making all of this work. The leads who are sucked into the movie world are great with some very funny jokes. Most impressive is the cast for the slasher film this takes place in. They are clearly having a ball embracing the 80's stereotypes. With all that said, though, there is one negative I had. The rating. I’m not usually a stickler for ratings, but the PG-13 does hold the film back for me. Considering the 80's slashers are known for their R-rated violence and gore, it’s strange to see this go in a tamer route. Feels like some missed jokes there.
Rating decision aside, this is a horror comedy that should be talked about more often. The meta approach works, the cast commits, the humor is funny, and the film is just a good time. Based off how they chose to end this, I do hope to see a sequel one day. I would love to see what sequel jokes they have up their sleeve. Just please commit to an R-rating next time.