Anyone who grew up with the iconic slasher films of the 1980s like Friday the 13th can’t help but love “The Final Girls.” It’s a satire and homage to the slashers of old, complete with an amazing cast and a lot of heart. This isn’t an over-the-top parody like Scary Movie or meant to be a true thriller, but more horror comedy with just enough camp and drama to keep you entertained.
Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story) stars as Max Cartwright, the daughter of B-Movie scream queen, Amanda Cartwright, played by Malin Akerman (Watchmen). Amanda’s a reluctant horror icon and feels forever typecast after her role in “Camp Bloodbath.” When Max spills a milkshake on her mother’s headshot, Amanda loses control of the car and dies in a tragic car accident.
Fast forwarding three years later, Max is a despondent college student who, against her better judgement, goes to a “Camp Bloodbath” feature and winds up being sucked into the movie. Max, accompanied by her friends and her mother’s character, Nancy, must fight for her life against the supernatural villain, Billy.
For a low budget movie (IMDB estimated it at $4.5 million), “The Final Girls” has some good names. Farmiga and Ackerman, Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries) and Adam Devine (Pitch Perfect) add some much appreciated acting chops to the movie.
One performance that has to be singled out is Ackerman’s. Her transformation from the jaded and aging B-movie actress to the fresh and cheerful camp counselor was well done. You were really able to feel the difference and never led to believe that Farmiga would get her mother back.
“The Final Girls” did a wonderful job providing a good mix of comedy and drama. Devine’s oversexed camp counselor was exactly like his character from Pitch Perfect. The rest of the cast was overall flat, but shored up by Farmiga and Akerman. You can’t help but feel relieved when they got killed off.
Overall, the movie was a great horror comedy. You’ll be disappointed if you are expecting it to be hardcore or a parody, but it’s a good movie for a Friday night.