Film Review: THE FINAL GIRLS (2015)

The Final Girls (2015)

Stage 6

Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson

MV5BMjI4Nzk2NzAzOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNjI1NzY4NjE@._V1_SX214_AL_

When Max (Taissa Farmiga) and her friends reluctantly attend a tribute screening of an infamous ’80s slasher film that starred Max’s late mother (Malin Akerman), they are accidentally sucked into the silver screen. They soon realize they are trapped inside the cult classic movie and must team up with the fictional and ill-fated “Camp Bloodbath” counselors, including Max’s mom as the shy scream queen, to battle the film’s machete-wielding, masked killer. With the body count rising in scene after iconic scene, who will be THE FINAL GIRLS left standing and live to escape this film?

Screenshot 2015-10-11 at 11.55.10

After being sucked into the Camp Bloodbath film, a la Stay Tuned, our heroes and final girls set out on the quest of survival. The tone being rather mixed, the balance of homage, spoof, and referential surrealism makes for a mixed bag in entertainment. Also, the heavy dramatic shifts at the beginning, middle and end of the film are a bit jarring as none of it really flows all that well. Taissa Farmiga is a wonderful actress with vast capabilities, unfortunately the muddled script doesn’t give her enough to work with in any direction.

 

Tongue planted firmly in cheek, the humor is hit and miss. The jokes that are delivered are usually fun plays on horror tropes while the crude jokes never really stick the landing. This is due in part to the fact that the film calls for a PG-13 rating while the “dick jokes” call for something a bit more low brow. That’s not to say that they film isn’t funny. There is a certain amount of irony in the humor that is quite good. The film also veers into Tucker and Dale Vs Evil territory with lots of accidental physical humor. The moments are surprising and add a level of fun that is missing from some of the other less dramatic moments.

 

Screenshot 2015-10-11 at 12.41.08

Speaking of drama, there is a large amount of it. Again, this is part of the overall confusion as to where the story should go. The bouncing back and forth of funny and dramatic never feels quite right, almost as if the script was forced through too many rewrites. However, the drama is far more successful than the humor, mostly due to it being heavily focused on the acting ability of Taissa Farmiga.

Screenshot 2015-10-11 at 12.41.14

Hidden in a sea of poorly rendered CGI, good practical effects lurk in the darkness. The overuse of CGI appears to be played for humor, particularly the opening car crash sequence, but I just don’t get it. Some of these CGI physical gags are where the humor really misses its mark.

 
Aside from all of the complaining, this is actually an enjoyable film…there just seems to be a much better one hidden deep down in this murky script that has all of the right intention of being a love letter to the slasher sub genre, it just lacks the bite needed to pull it off. With a little more focus and perhaps a stronger rating, this could have been a VOD sleeper hit. Instead, I suggest watching Deathgasm and wait for the price to drop on this one. This isn’t a total avoid, it just isn’t anywhere near worth the $7 rental.

1465150264421599120