Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Malin Akerman, Adam DeVine
Plot: 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?
The Final Girls is the ultimate comedic love-letter to 80s slasher films. As someone who grew up on that genre, I really, really enjoyed this movie.
Everything 80s is riffed here, but in a way that has both laughs and heart, rather than a ridiculous Scary Movie parody manner. It's also obvious that the director is a fan of the source material - when our group of protagonists end up "inside" their favourite 80s slasher, it really does feel like they've been transported back to a Friday the 13th flick.
The acting here is great. I really enjoyed Taissa Farmiga's previous work on two seasons of TV show American Horror Story, and she's perfectly cast here as the quiet, sensitive teenage girl mourning the loss of her film star mum. Malin Akerman looks familiar but looking at her credits I don't think I've seen her in much. But she has great chemistry with Farmiga, which helps provide the emotional pull. Comedic value is added by Adam DeVine (TV's Workaholics) - whose performance does grate the nerves a bit at times but is perfect for the douchebag jock that was in every 80s summer camp horror flick - and Thomas Middleditch, who is excellent as the resident horror movie geek.
The only complaint I have is that this movie is virtually devoid of gore. There's a little bit of blood splattered around, but it's lacking compared to actual 80s slashers. If you're going to pay homage to those movies, you need some good blood and guts. There's also no nudity - a pre-requisite of 80s slashers - but that's neither here nor there.
I have a feeling that the younger crowd will probably enjoy this movie well enough, but to really appreciate it you need to have lived through the 80s and to have watched your fair share of Friday the 13th-type slashers from that decade.
Don't expect scares or any real suspense - go into this one for the laughs and the loving tribute it pays to slasher flicks.