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THE FINAL GIRLS (2015): Review…A Smart Premise That Doesn’t Live Up To The Trailer

the_final_girls_reviewTHE FINAL GIRLS follows the story of Max and her mom, Amanda. Amanda is a struggling actress trying to pry away from her past gig as Nancy in a low budget slasher film ‘Camp Bloodbath’.  Nancy dies in a car crash, and 2 years later Max is asked to be a guest at a double feature of ‘Camp Bloodbath’ and ‘Camp Bloodbath 2’ screening. During the screening a fire ensues and Max and her group of friends escape through the movie screen. — then they come to find themselves IN the movie.

Max sees a way to try and save her mother, if she can just keep her from dying at the slashers hands, she could return with the group to the real world once the film is over.

So I must say: I’m a horror fan first and foremost — however, I also love horror-comedies that are done right. This film had so much going for it, even with a PG-13 rating; it really could have been hilarious and fun, but director Todd Strauss-Schulson decides to take this horror-comedy and turn it into a heartfelt tear-fest, with very little laughs.

Anyone who says it was never supposed to be a horror-comedy is crazy. You don’t set a film within the slasher sub-genre of horror and say it’s not supposed to be a horror-comedy. Also, when you have the lead actress teary-eyed or crying every time she sees her mom’s character within the film, it takes you out of the movie that has been marketed to us as a comedy. I honestly laughed more at the little comic relief gags in a real Friday The 13th Film than I did with ‘The Final Girls’.

What’s so disappointing about the film is the potential it had to be a really funny, smart take on the horror genre and pop-culture of the slasher film in general.  Instead, it goes pulling at the heart strings, which takes you out of the comedy element and makes you wonder “where did this come in?”, and makes the picture feel unbalanced and awkward.

The filmmakers decide to take the funniest character, Duncan, a character that every horror fan can identify with, and dispatch him right when the group gets into the film. HE is the character we want to see live within the fictional world of the film. THAT’S WHY I WATCHED THE FILM. Maybe the filmmakers thought with a character so familiar with the genre and ‘Camp Bloodbath’, he would make too much sense in dealing with the slasher. I don’t know, but it was pretty much the end of the excitement of the film for me.
There is still some good stuff here — the use of the flashbacks and slow motion were great concepts that they could have expounded upon in the film, and exploited more of the horror films staple elements. The entire cast is wonderful to watch, and the end is certainly a great set-up for a sequel.

The story hooked me just because I wanted to see how they would get out of the film, how they would overcome the slasher (another tear filled sequence comes before it), and how the twists turn out.

Again, the film had a great premise that is innovative and unique, they just didn’t use all the potential they had to make a truly memorable film. This is one I will forget about in a few days and when the sequel comes out I’ll be like oh yeah, I remember that one.

If you’re looking for a movie as fun and funny as the trailer for the film, you will be disappointed. If you’re into dramadies, give this one a shot. Most genre fans will be disappointed in this film as much as I was. If you aren’t a hardcore horror fan you may enjoy it a bit more, since the film is getting unwarranted praise on certain websites, why, I don’t know. But film is a subjective art form, give it a shot and let me know what you thought of it!

Twitter @TheCryptChad


THE FINAL GIRLS 2015 Review: A Smart Premise That Doesn’t Live Up To The Trailer

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Chad Armstrong

President/Co-Owner at LC Films
Chad Armstrong is a writer/producer/director who was born and raised in Long Beach CA. In 2009 he relocated to Alabama where he founded LeglessCorpse, a site dedicated to independent horror films, and soon after created the indie horror distribution company LeglessCorpse Films (currently known as LC Films). Not only is he co-owner of and LC Films he is also President of the newly formed Back Aisle Video label. Chad's most recent feature film is Deimosimine, and currently in development on the feature film Blood Dancers 2: Full Moon.