The Final Girls (2015) is an American horror comedy directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson and written by M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller for Groundswell Productions in association with Ulterior Productions. Distributed by Stage 6 Films. Starring Taissa Farmiga, Malin Akerman, Adam Devine, Thomas Middleditch, Alia Shawkat; with Alexander Ludwig and Nina Dobrev.

When Max (Taissa Farmiga) and her friends reluctantly attend an anniversary screening of “Camp Bloodbath”, the infamous ‘80s horror film that starred Max’s late mother (Malin Akerman), they are mysteriously 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 counselors, including Max’s mom as the scream queen, to battle the film’s machete-wielding 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?

Girls, guns or zombies? Final girls, guns, machetes, and slashers!

Rated PG-13. 91 minutes. Watch the official trailer here …

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My thoughts… The Final Girls (2015), not to be confused with The Final Girl (2015) with Abigail Breslin [although Alexander Ludwig is in both films], is one of the most wildly inventive slasher films I’ve seen since Scream! It’s like Friday the 13th meets Disney’s Teen Beach Movie – without catchy songs! Well, “Bette Davis Eyes”, which plays an integral part in The Final Girls, is pretty damn catchy! I made that reference to one of my tween daughter’s favorite Disney movies because the teens in Teen Beach Movie get stuck in their favorite ’60s beach movie whereas the young adults in The Final Girls get stuck in their favorite ’80s slasher film. The similarities, however, end there! I wanted to say that The Final Girls is a love letter to the ’80s slasher film but I soon learned, after finding the poster, that Sam Raimi already said it! The Final Girls, obviously, relies on the self-referential horror film trope like in, well, Scream (1996) or more recent films such as Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010) or The Cabin in the Woods (2012). It makes sense, though, because the characters in The Final Girls are stuck in a film whose genre’s clichés they know all too well! The parody of the genre, as well as the era, is spot on! However, this film succeeds as more than just a brilliant horror comedy because of the tragically sad but wonderfully heartfelt relationship between Max and her mother! I’ll admit it – tears welled up in my eyes when Max first sets eyes on Nancy, the character her mother Amanda plays in the fictional 1986 cult classic Camp Bloodbath! Max wants to save Nancy from dying in the movie because she couldn’t save Amanda from dying in real life but Nancy, in the end, realizes that she must die and that Max just needs to let go. Beautiful! The scenes with Max and Nancy are worth the price of admission alone! But, luckily, this fantastic film offers so much more! Oh, and I’d watch the hell out of Camp Bloodbath and its sequel!