There seems to be something of a trend in horror lately to return to the 80s slasher film sensibilities. There have been a few movies that have embraced the 80s retro style, even some that parody it, and some bringing back other 80s trends like anthology movies. But one movie, The Final Girls, is taking the 80s trend to another level with a truly meta experience that works very well.
The Final Girls is the story of Max Cartwright (Taissa Farmiga), daughter of famed scream queen Amanda Cartwright (Malin Akerman) who has had trouble shedding her association with a classic 80s slasher film, Camp Bloodbath, even years later. After losing her mom in a car accident, Max feels lost and is constantly reminded of her mother when a screening of Camp Bloodbath shows in her town. She reluctantly agrees to appear at the screening as a guest but when a fire breaks out, Max and a group of friends try to escape through the movie screen and find themselves trapped in the film itself. Now able to see her mother again, although only as her character Nancy, Max and her friends must find a way to survive the movie and find a way back to reality.
The Final Girls is a very creative homage to 80s horror in a very entertaining way. The whole concept of having the group transferred into the film itself is imaginative and fun and plays out very well. There are lots of self-aware references to real horror classics as well as great references to genre tropes and stereotypes that are downright hilarious. The fantastic ensemble cast includes Farmiga and Akerman as well as Alexander Ludwig from The Hunger Games, Thomas Middleditch from the show Silicon Valley, Adam Devine from Pitch Perfect and Modern Family and Nina Dobrev from The Vampire Diaries. The humor is great and will go over especially well with big horror fans but there is still plenty to enjoy even for those that are not. And it even has a nice emotional heart to the centre of the story about Max and her dealing with her mother’s death. That isn’t exactly something I expected from a slapstick horror comedy. The Final Girls is a really fun flick that would be especially recommended for a movie night with all of your horror fan friends.