October 11, 2015

VOD Review: The Final Girls (2015)

(aka Camp Bloodbath.)
Release Date: October 9th.
Country: USA
Rating: PG-13
Written by: M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller.
Directed by: Todd Strauss-Shulson.
Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Malin Akerman, Alexander Ludwig, Nina Dobrev, Alia Shawkat, Thomas Middleditch, and Adam Devine.

The Final Girl: is a trope in thriller and horror films (particularly slasher films). It refers to the last woman alive to confront the killer, ostensibly the one left to tell the story.

Every Horror fan should already know this term, but we felt it was relevant to reiterate.

It's been 20 years since Amanda Cartwright starred in the cheesy 80's Slasher flick, Camp Bloodbath, and she just can't seem to live it down. She wants to be a serious actress, but to casting agents, she's nothing more than that shy virgin with a guitar who died painfully at the hands of Billy, the movie's maniac. Her daughter Max loves her though, and that makes everything better; their relationship is loving and wonderful, which is why it's so unfortunate that it ends in a car crash that leaves mom dead.

Three years later, Max is persuaded (bribed) to attend a special screening of Camp Bloodbath, on the anniversary of her mother's death. When the theater inexplicably catches on fire (it's in the script), Max and her friends cut their way through the movie screen in an effort to find an emergency exit, and instead find themselves in the movie. Like actually in the movie, as new characters (don't ask us, because this was also in the script.)

Alive and trapped withing the world of Camp Bloodbath, Max and company decide to play along with the movie until it ends, hoping that will be enough to get them home... until Max realizes that she is once again face to face with her dead mother, and the mission becomes keeping her alive at any cost. Can they survive Billy's murderous rampage and have themselves a happy ending? And who will be the true Final Girl, mother of daughter?

Hilarious hi-jinks and extreme sentimentality ensue.

The Final Girls is a Horror Comedy that while being funny, is also steeped in a liberal amount of sentimentality. It's also a Slasher flick that takes place within a Slasher flick, so I suppose you could add that tag to its description too, although that would be a bit misleading. If you're coming into this one expecting any kind of traditional Slasher flick, you're going to be disappointed. Then again, the fact that it's not traditional is what makes it such a good and enjoyable movie. So, six in one hand...

As funny as this movie was, we were surprised to find how effective its emotional aspects were; in many ways, the story between Malin Akerman and Mini-Farmiga drove this movie, and made it into something truly special. It's really a story about how someone comes to terms with the death of a loved one, and I have to imagine that anyone who has lost someone close to them will easily identify with the emotional current that runs through this one. Some of them might even need some tissue.

This is definitely Malin Akerman and Mini-Farmiga's show, but the rest of the cast does a great job too. Adam Devine owned the best comedy bits in this one by far; Alexander Ludwig was pretty solid in his 2nd movie of 2015 that has the words Final Girl in its title; Thomas Middleditch is his usual, enjoyably goofy self; and Alia Shawkat is Alia Shawkat. To know her is to love her.

We get that this movie is about way more than kill scenes, and you could even argue that it isn't about them at all, but as a "love letter" to the bygone era of 80's Slasher flicks, it really could have used some more blood & gore. It is a Slasher flick within a Slasher flick, after all, and it really should have gone the R-Rated route. That's just us though.

***MILD SPOILER*** They killed the funniest guy in the movie off way too quick. He should have lived until the very end, because when he died, so did most of the laughter.

Not a lot of gore going on in this one, which is kind of a shame. There were a few good bits throughout, but they were all very, well, PG-13.

It's PG-13, so no.

80's Slasher flicks were a special breed of film, and we miss them. Also, distracted driving kills.

It's hard to believe that a movie like this could be so sentimental, but then The Final Girls is one that operates by its own rules to begin with. It's a fun homage to the Slasher Era of yesteryear, it's a solid Horror Comedy, but its strength really comes from its heartfelt emotion. This is a story of the relationship between a mother and daughter, and even a meditation on loss, more than it is anything else. Do not let that dissuade you from seeing it.

We loved every minute of this movie, and as unlikely as it may be, we really hope that they end up doing a sequel. Either way, fans of Horror Comedies and Classic Slasher flicks should definitely give this one a go.


The Final Girls is available now on VOD.


Mini-Farmiga and her crew of hotties.


  1. wow, I know there are a lot of people who enjoy and like this film... But in my opinion (MY opinion), is very bad, boring and disappointing (sorry about my english). I hoped it was awesome but... no way. The script, the performances, even Farmiga seems to be sleeping all the movie. Well, I didnt like the film, thats all.

    1. Your English is fine! And I can see how some people would not like this movie, and understand completely.

    2. My Thoughts Part 1 of 2

      I agree as much as I love Vera Farmiga, her half-her-age sister can't act and it is really apparent in this flick.

      I'd like to say first of all I absolutely LOVE 80's slasher films, the 80's is one of the greatest periods for horror and really any film in my personal opinion though I digress.

      As much as I fell in love with the high concept of this film and it's back-story of being written by the son of Father Karras from The Exorcist.

      The final product of this film, is just painful to watch in most parts. The "acting" is cringe worthy, the bastardization of the "80's Slasher Tropes" downright ridiculous along with it’s misguided view of the 80’s, and the anachronisms are just blatant.

      The overall acting as I mentioned made me cringe except for Malin Akerman who literally acts circles around everyone in this movie, Thomas Middleditch does well too but is completely wasted in this film.

      The 80's Slasher film and it's tropes are timelessly iconic and any horror fan worth their salt could cite them to you but in this flick everyone and everything is too busy being a freaking joke and not even a good or well told one at that.

      The Film within a film “Camp Bloodbath” is no Friday the 13th or The Burning it’s not even Madman Marz. It’s this unfunny schlock of purposely (I hope) bad writing and goofy characters who aren’t even funny in that right full of things that where never in slasher flicks (at least the good ones) like horrible sex puns, annoying badly acted characters and synthesizer tunes.

      I don't know who pulled up in that Pontiac Firebird, smoking cigarettes and drinking whiskey but that was N-O-T the "Final Girl".

      The Final Girl is supposed to be the good girl, a symbol of innocence, who rises to the occasion in order to survive forever changed by the events she suffered like Malin Akerman’s character’s character, not Miss Baditude.

      I must say although the sentimental scenes are very well done and honestly surprising, they are completely out of left field in this movie and never seem properly earned.

      Finally let’s talk about the rating, is there really a point for PG-13 horror? Sure this is more comedy then horror (one of it’s many mistakes) but if you’re playing the “Slasher Card” there needs to be plenty of gore and nudity never hurts and I’m no historian but I’m pretty positive there was no CGI in the 80’s, so when scenes like Devine’s well-deserved death came it looked like a cartoon instead of I don’t know real.

    3. My Thoughts part 2 of 2

      And now the ending, although the “Bette Davis Eyes” scene is almost beautiful and the lovely Malin Akerman pulls my heartstrings like no one can, it is immediately spoiled by the over-the-top wire-fu fight between Farmiga’s sister and the Killer set against a purple CGI storm.

      I thought about complaining on the anachronisms in the film but I’m not opening that particular can of worms today but any true horror and 80’s aficionados will be well aware of them like my self.

      Final Thoughts:

      This film is mildly entertaining but can be equally infuriating. The high concept, sentimental scenes and Malin Akerman are worth their weight in gold but ultimately deserved a superior movie especially the “Bette Davis Eyes” scene at the end, which is simply heartbreaking knowing what’s coming.

      Malin Akerman is a darling and this film really makes you appreciate her underrated acting skills. While this is the third thing I’ve seen Vera Farmiga’s sister in and it only cemented herself further in inferiority to her big sister.

      The rest of the cast I honestly never cared for or about except maybe the goofy “slut” character who while mildly entertaining at parts came across practically mentally challenged at other points and when she was really becoming her own was killed off in another unfunny joke.

      I don’t know who Adam Devine is, but he needs to go away…far away…forever and never be heard from again.

      All in all, Final Girls is kind of watchable but severely disappointing, with an drastically uneven balance of horror and comedy opposed fellow lack comedies such as The Frighteners, Army of Darkness, Tucker & Dale Vs Evil or Shaun of the Dead it warps and distorts classic horror tropes when it doesn’t completely bastardize them unlike better examples like Scream, Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, or The Cabin in the Woods and fails to really utilizes the “In the Movie” concept well like The Last Action Hero, Pleasantville, or even the “Welcome to My Nightmare” episode of Amazing Stories.

      The Final Girls is a high concept idea mediocrity produced and left me my fellow movie watchers under whelmed and wishing for something better but aware that this would taint any better ideas of the nature at least for the time being.