August 14, 2015

VOD Reviw: Final Girl (2015)
(aka Pretty Poison)
Release Date: August 14th.
Country: USA
Rating: R
Written by: Adam Prince and Stephen Scarlata.
Directed by: Tyler Shields.
Starring: Abigail Breslin, Wes Bentley, Cameron Bright, and Alexander Ludwig.

Tyler Shields is a photographer who is famous for capturing some of the world's most beautiful people in provocative poses; sexy, naked, bloody, violent... his work is anything but tame and conventional.

When we heard that he was directing a Horror movie, we were excited, because we figured that at the very least, it would be gorgeous to behold, and that it would more likely than not be bloody and sexy as well. Because that's pretty much his thing.

Final Girl is a gorgeous movie, and while it's got some violence in it, there isn't a lot of sexy to be found, and to be honest, Shields' photographs have far more life in them than the movie does.

After young Veronica's parents die, she meets a creeper named William, who offers to take her in and give her a "Job." What the job is is anybody's guess, but it sounds shady to us. 12 years later, Veronica is all grown up, and we learn that William has been training her to be an assassin. Despite her not being deadly at all, he won't let her use a gun to kill her targets, because I guess that makes too much sense.

Her target ends up being a group of four boys who lure blonde girls into the woods, to hunt them and kill them. As blonde and pretty as she is, it takes Veronica no time at all to draw their attention, which leads to their leader inviting her into the woods for a date, where unbeknownst to her, they plan on killing her like the others... only it is beknownst to her, so the joke's on them!

Once in the woods, Veronica and the boys play Truth or Dare, where they dare her to run for her life because they're going to kill her. Unbeknownst to them, Veronica has a few tricks up her sleeve for them... which is actually unbeknownst to them because they don't know. It looks like the hunters are about to become the hunted!

Stylish stalk-and-slash shenanigans ensue.

Final Girl is first and foremost a pretty movie to look at. Tyler Shields is obviously a man with a sharp eye for visuals, and although the movie doesn't push the boundaries that many of his photographs do, you can see his flair all over the place. At times, the movie was so steeped in visual bliss, that it felt dreamy and surreal.

In fact, you could argue that pretty is all that Final Girl is, because the visuals take precedence over story and character to the point of making us wonder if Tyler Shields actually set out to make a real movie, or if he was just interested in creating an elaborate piece of moving art. If it's the latter, then he succeeded wildly. Of course which one you think it is, is all going to depend on your level of artistic taste, but it's an artistic success none the less.

We're not really sure what Final Girl was going for. It's a movie about a girl who is trained to be an assassin, but she never comes off as being particularly deadly. She and her trainer/handler have an odd relationship that never really goes anywhere, and we didn't really care, because the characters were so bland that we didn't really feel much about them either way. There's also a lot of 1950's-style hep-daddy shit throughout this one, which just felt pretentious; like someone was trying to make everything extra cool, daddy, cool.

The movie just doesn't have any life to it. Neither the story nor the performances are particularly compelling, and yet we watched it all intently. It's like a gorgeous girl in a coma; damn she's pretty to look at, but she just lies there, and she doesn't do much except exist. and occasionally, drool.

So I guess it's a Horror movie, though not a very bloody or scary one.

It's stylish as hell though. We can't deny that.

Final Girl is a movie that just kind of plods along, not doing much, and doesn't really give its audience much to sink their teeth into. It's also a movie that is gorgeous to behold to the point that some may call it a piece of art, so depending on what you're looking to get out of this one, it's either visionary or a hollow mess. 


Final Girl is available now on VOD, and in Limited Theatrical Release.

Abigail Breslin and Tyler Shields go way back... to when he photographed her naked when she was 17. That's a bond that never dies, folks.


  1. I was so perplexed by how this script got greenlit. Nothing is ever explained.


    Who killed his family? Why does he want her to take out those particular people? What was his profession? Are we supposed to believe he is some psychiatrist or something cause in the beginning he has access to a little girl whose house just burned down? What the F was up with the last scene about not wanting pancakes or whatever?

    I agree the movie is gorgeous but otherwise I couldn't believe how much of it was just run of the mill fodder. She's supposed to be a badass and, really, she doesn't show it that well when the climax starts (which takes forever). The film tricks you into thinking it's smart with it's style but it's really just a bland story that we have seen before.

    1. I've watched one episode of the show, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out that they were going for a 'Buffy-esq" type of deal between the guy anf the girl.
      I seemed blatantly obvious to me that the guy worked for some secret organization that recruits people, Ala "Wanted", He bribed his way in to see the girl or more likely she was already at the recruitment place without knowing it.
      It doesn't matter to anyone who killed the trainers family, and not everything need explained. The Filmmakers figured their audience to be intelligent enough to figure a few things out. I hate those movies filled with exposition and the "as you know" moments that we are now so used to now with idiotic shows like CSI were the leads constantly explain things to each other like it was their first day on the job.

    2. I think the writer didn´t explain some things because they didn´t make sense at all. Like, 4 boys killing tens of pretty, white girls in a small town with total impunity? That´s unvelievable. Also, spotlights strewn throughout the forest? Why she wasn´t allowed to use a gun? Why a 12 year old orphan would be "recruited"? Why Wes Betnley couldn´t kill the guys himself if he kew they were killing girls all along? This movie is gergoeus, but the plot is full of big holes.

  2. Among the many problems with this movie, the major one was Abigail Breslin's total inability to convince that she was any kind of a trained killer. When I think of all the wonderful actresses who toil in 'B' movies who could have taken this role and run with it....I wanted this movie to succeed and it failed miserably. Another thing was the stupidity of the script. When Miss Breslin asks logically, why not use a gun the so called mentor replies, paraphrasing, 'When you shoot all your bullets you are left with a worthless piece of metal'. I think I yelled at the screen at that point, "That's why I carried about 12 magazines on patrol in Vietnam, asshole!". With these 15 round clips today, if she'd carried two of them she wouldn't have needed to keep hitting punks in the face with her elbow - her favorite martial arts move for some reason.

    Finally, as a public service announcement; do not, under any circumstances, watch an atrocity called, 'Dark Moon Rising.' It may be the worst movie I have ever seen - I shut it off after 40 minutes.