Fans of the horror genre will be familiar with the term “Final Girl”. It refers to the last woman alive in a horror film, the person who either has the final showdown with the villain or lives to tell the story to the world. There have been many memorable last girl appearances over the years, from Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns) in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) by doing extraterrestrial Franchise.
At best, Final Girls can become some of the most iconic characters in genre cinema history, and the past decade has been filled with a plethora of memorable and exciting Final Girls.
Gracefulness – Ready or Not (2019)
Before they directed the latest critically acclaimed episode in the Scream franchises, directors Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin made Ready or Not, one of the most unique horror movies of recent years. The film follows Grace (Samara weaving), a bride who is forced on her wedding night to play a sinister game of hide-and-seek with her eccentric in-laws.
Despite being heavily outnumbered and incredibly unprepared to fight for her life, Grace manages to consistently overpower and outsmart her tormentors. Ready or Not is a chilling, twisted delight fueled by an incredible performance by Weaving that is a must-see for any horror fan.
Daniel – midsummer (2019)
director Ari Asters first movie HereditaryHe made one thing crystal clear to viewers: he knows how to make a groundbreaking horror film. No wonder then that his second film midsummer, both of which terrified audiences and gave us one of the most nuanced final girls in years. Midsommar follows Dani (Florence Pugh), a young woman who travels with her boyfriend and his friends to a Swedish midsummer festival that turns out to be the work of a pagan cult.
Dani’s transformation from lost soul to May Queen is slow and suspenseful, making the dramatic choice she makes at the film’s climax all the more rewarding for viewers.
Laurie Strode – Halloween (2018) and Halloween kills (2021)
One of the most iconic Final Girls of all time returned to the big screen in 2018 when Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) ignited her deadly rivalry with masked killer Michael Myers. The 2018 sequel takes place 40 years after the original (and luckily it pretends the other sequels don’t exist) and introduces audiences to a new and improved Laurie. She has spent her entire life knowing that one day Michael would escape and has trained to ensure that she will be the one to kill him.
After a fierce performance on her long-awaited return, Laurie was largely wasted Halloween kills, who spend almost the entire runtime tied to a hospital bed. We hope she has more to do in the last episode, Halloween ends.
Casey – Splits (2016) and Glass (2019)
After The visit reminded people how talented a writer/director is M. Night Shyamalan is, he thrilled audiences and critics alike with a horror/thriller hybrid, Splits. Anya Taylor Joys Casey is one of three girls kidnapped by Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), a man diagnosed with 23 distinct personalities. Instantly resourceful, intelligent and determined to survive, Casey helps one of the other kidnapped girls escape the clutches of one of Kevin’s darkest personalities.
Scarred both physically and psychologically by her tragic past, Casey only manages to escape the Beast’s clutches because he believes her to be pure-hearted, which is a nice twist on the last girl trope.
Tree – Happy death anniversary (2017) and Happy Death Anniversary 2U (2019)
It’s incredible to think that we had to wait until 2019 for someone to combine a classic slasher movie with a time warp story. Lucky for fans, Happy death anniversary came by and scratched the itch we didn’t know we had. The film follows college student Tree (Jessica Rothe), who is forced to relive the day of her death in an endless loop until she discovers the true identity of her killer.
Unfortunately for Tree, she wasn’t the nicest person before the time warp, so it seems like everyone she meets has a reason to kill her. As the film progresses, Tree transforms into a more thoughtful, well-rounded person, cultivating relationships that serve her well while leaving her old toxic behaviors firmly in the past.
jay- It follows (2015)
Written and directed by David Robert Mitchell, It follows is one of the most original and thematically richest horror films of recent times. The story revolves around Jay (Maika Monroe), a young woman who is relentlessly pursued by a supernatural being after a sexual encounter. It follows puts Jay in an impossible position; She either has sex with someone else to pass on the curse and potentially save herself, or she spends her entire life fleeing the entity that is chasing her.
This moral dilemma is also passed on to the audience as they are encouraged to think about what they would do if they were ever put in Jay’s unfortunate position. In addition to his outstanding last girl, It follows also features an enormously memorable soundtrack.
Dana Polk – The Cabin in the Woods
The hut in the forest is a horror film that is clearly at odds with the archetypal gender roles that are pervasive within the genre. Every classic trope and archetype is included, but the characters are manipulated into these overly simplistic cartoon characters. For example last girl Dana Polk (Kristen Connolly) the film begins as a strong, intelligent and liberated woman, but the evil organization pulling the strings drugs her to turn her into “the maiden”.
The fact that The hut in the forest It manages to tear the Last Girl archetype to pieces while still giving the audience a truly memorable and unique Last Girl is a remarkable achievement of which everyone involved in the film should be very proud.
Sidney Prescott Scream (2022)
Sydney Prescott (Never Campbell) embodies everything the audience is looking for in a final girl. Not only is she seemingly indestructible (how many times has she been stabbed?), but she’s also a clever, fierce, and funny character who has also surrounded herself with loyal friends, namely Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) and Dewey Riley (David Arquette).
While Sidney was the star of scream 4the last part of the franchise directed by the deceased Wes Cravenshe returned Scream as a legacy figure. Though Sidney doesn’t get much screen time, he still finds time to murmur a handful of iconic lines and kick an exceptional amount of ass. Fans expect nothing less from “Sidney f*cking Prescott.”
Mia – evil Dead (2013)
Ok Mia (jane levy) may not be a typical final girl performance, but it is undoubtedly one of the most interesting. The reboot of sam raimi’In this iconic film, Mia and four friends travel to a remote cabin where they discover the Book of the Dead, which they unknowingly use to summon a horde of undead demons.
So what makes Mia such an unusual last girl? Well, for one thing, she spends most of the film being possessed by a demon, which is relatively unheard of for a Last Girl. Despite this, she manages to overcome possession and save the day, using a chainsaw to kill her evil doppelganger. Mia may not be your classic Final Girl, but long live the new normal.
Elizabeth Shaw – Prometheus (2012)
Prometheus had to overcome the almost impossible obstacle of making a film within the extraterrestrial Franchise without Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), arguably the most popular last girl of all time. Luckily, director Ridley Scott didn’t just make a copy of Ripley (although that’s exactly what happened in Alien: Covenant), instead of the audience Dr. to introduce Elizabeth Shaw (Naomi Rapace). We first meet Shaw when she and her boyfriend (Logan Marshall Green) discover evidence of extraterrestrial life, which they then use to convince the Weyland Corporation to fund a trip to try and meet their creators.
Shaw’s thirst for knowledge completely separates her from Ripley, allowing audiences to enjoy Rapace’s nuanced, grounded and haunted performance without drawing comparisons to Ripley. dr Shaw was a great addition to the Alien franchise, and killing her character off-screen was a colossal mistake Federation.
NEXT: The 7 best horror movies that end with a last boy, not a last girl
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