A teenager finds herself trapped in the fictional world of “Camp Bloodbath,” a cult-hit horror movie her late mother starred in 20 years earlier.
Runtime: 1hr 31m
Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Starring: Taissa Farmiga, Malin Akerman, Alexander Ludwig, Nina Dobrev, Alia Shawkat, Thomas Middleditch, Adam Devine, Angela Trimbur, Chloe Bridges, Tory N. Thompson
Information Page: https://www.newonnetflix.info/info/80073908
I’m a big fan of the slasher genre and and have always had a soft spot for the Friday the 13th film series. So when I saw that “The Final Girls”, a satire of the genre, had returned to Netflix UK I thought I would finally give it a watch. The film starts off with the trailer to a very camp, 80s slasher film ‘Camp Bloodbath’ which has all the typical tropes of horror films – if you’ve seen “Scream” then you’ll likely already have a good knowledge of these. The view then pans out and we see a teenager watching the trailer on her phone while waiting in the car. This is Max (Taissa Farmiga) and her mum, Amanda (Malin Akerman), starred as Nancy in the film which we quickly discover messed up her acting career…
Fast forward three years and Amanda has sadly passed away and we catch up with Max. Max is invited to an special screening of ‘Camp Bloodbath’ and its sequel ‘Camp Bloodbath 2: Cruel Summer’ which are being shown on the anniversary of her mum’s death. She reluctantly agrees to attend with her friends Chris (Alexander Ludwig), Gertie (Alia Shawkat) and Duncan (Thomas Middleditch). Her former best friend Vicki is also there. A few things happen and the cinema ends up on fire with the group of five cutting through the screen in order to escape to safety. The things get really weird… The group wakes up in a forest and the van from ‘Camp Bloodbath’ approaches and asks for directions. 92 minutes later, the van returns and we, the viewer, and the friends realise that they are in a loop of the film – which happens to have a runtime of 92 minutes.
Spoofs and satires of films are hard to master – sometimes they work well (“Space Balls”) and other times they are an appalling waste of time and money (“Disaster Movie”). “The Final Girls” manages to pull off the satire but I suspect a large part of that is its wide range – the film parodies the slasher genre as a whole, rather than picking out scenes from specific films. From the slasher-film side of things you know what’s going to happen but then this isn’t a straight forward slasher – it’s a film that’s set within a slasher film. The writers do manage to throw in a number of curveballs and keep things interesting throughout.
The film continues to follow the story of ‘Camp Bloodbath’ with the friends trying to recall what happened next in the film in order to pre-empt what may happen. Billy, the killer in the film, is clearly based on Jason Voorhees from the “Friday the 13th” franchise with a bit of Michael Myers (“Halloween”) thrown in for good measure and he does a good job of killing people off in interesting ways. The friends must try to survive their ordeal in the film as well as work out how to get back home? Will they make it? You’ll have to watch it yourself to find out!
This is actually a difficult film to review without giving away too many spoilers but it’s safe to say that “The Final Girls” is an enjoyable film with a good mixture of scares and comedic moments – as well as a somewhat heartwarming tale of family and loss. The cast are great and the overall look and feel of the film fits with the 80s slasher theme. The story is clearly written with tongue pressed firmly in cheek and the end result is something that everyone can enjoy – even if you’re not a horror fan. If you’re wanting something a bit more lighthearted to watch this Halloween weekend then it may be worth giving this a watch.
Have you seen this film? Let us know your opinions in the comments below and of course if there are any films on Netflix UK you want us to review let us know!