The Final Girls is the upcoming horror-comedy film from director Todd Strauss-Schulson (A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas). The unique concept focuses on Max (Taissa Farmiga of American Horror Story) whose mother was a scream queen back in the ’80s and who died before her daughter could really know her.
In The Final Girls, Max’s mother’s most famous film is known as the “grandaddy of all campsite slasher films.” In the aftermath of a fire while watching the film, Max and friends find themselves pulled into the world of the movie. Within the film, they must fight off the psychotic killer and survive until the end – “when a final girl takes out the bad guy and the credits roll.”
The Final Girls is literally a horror film that takes place in the world of another horror film. There are black-and-white flashbacks, over sexualized “teens,” and people who specifically reference the rules of horror films. The main characters are as acutely aware of their situation as the screenwriters are. Think Pleasantville meets Scream, with a little Sleepaway Camp thrown in for good measure.
The Final Girls official trailer shows an extremely meta horror movie. One that is definitely in the same vein as Scream, and, more recently, Cabin in the Woods. It’s another chance for a film to poke fun at its genre, in what looks like a unique and even bubbly way. The trailer is bright, funny, self-aware and gears up for a movie that may also be scream inducing. In addition to Farmiga, the film’s cast includes Malin Akerman, Nina Dobrev (The Vampire Diaries), Alexander Ludwig (Vikings), Alia Shawkat (Arrested Development), and Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley).
Shaking up the horror genre – which has had it’s share of stale films, recently – is always a good idea. Horror movies are at their best when they are scary and suspenseful, but, in lieu of that, they also work when being self-aware. If they aren’t pulling out utter terror from the audience, then being in on the joke can help them be taken more seriously as a film.
From the looks of it, The Final Girls does an excellent job of blending these various elements together. A girl meeting her dead mother provides the emotional element, while the rest of the cast helps provide a perfect balance of humor and horror. Meanwhile, the-film-within-a-film trope looks like it’s being used in clever and entertaining fashion.
The Final Girls opens October 9, 2015.