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FINAL GIRL (WATCH IT HERE) has been on my radar for a while now; I mean it's hard to go wrong with Abigail Breslin turning the tables on a group of serial killer Ken Dolls and hunting them down like the schmucks that they are "Buffy style"! So I’ve been keeping tabs on it, eager to see it and now that I finally have, was it worth the anticipation? Well yes and no. On a purely superficial level, the flick was a blast! I genuinely had a good time! But if I activate my one brain cell and zone in on it– cracks in this one’s make start to show. Scalpel please! Lets dissect this one and see what it bleed!
On an aesthetic standpoint FINAL GIRL was hypnotizing to gawk at. As helmed by photographer TYLER SHIELDS (in his directorial debut), the lighting and shot compositions here were surreal and dream like while the set/costume designs were straight out of the 50’s which definitively added further oddball charm to the proceedings. Oh and the Little Red Riding Hood parallels didn’t go unnoticed by yours truly! Abigail Bresbin wearing a red dress and being hunted in the woods by a gang of dudes in tuxes who act like they are a wolf pack. 10-4 on that. I got it! All that jive made for a compelling blend which resulted in the whole come off as fairy tale or a story that takes place in an alternate universe or something; which would explain why the massive plot holes didn’t hinder me while I was tapping it, but more on those later.
Acting wise, I really dug Wes Bentley's low-key yet affable show. On her end, Abigail Breslin put out a sweet mix of vulnerable, sexy and tough (although somebody should have taught her how to throw a better punch… tight editing can’t hide EVERYTHING) while Alexander Ludwig went balls out as the leader of the pack. Dude delved deep into his role and he had a hoot with it (yes... hoot). In fact, he wound up stealing many of the scenes he was in. The secondary boys (crazy Logan Huffman, silent/creepy Cameron Bright and "mommy issues" Reece Thompson) fared well too! Tag to all that a clipped pace (no meat on these bones - felt like this one got shaved down lots in editing), some trippy hallucination laced action scenes and dialogue that was more clever than the norm (loved that exchange between Bresbin and the competent Emma Paetz) and you get a fun ride, but one that you shouldn’t think too much about as you’re watching it or afterwards for that matter.
Which brings me to… 10 minutes after my sit down, much to my dismay, my one brain cell self-activated. There were so many unanswered questions here and so many things that baffled me that I guess it was inevitable for that to happen. Like whom did the trainer (Bentley) work for? CIA? FBI? Girl Scout Guides? They never let us know. And if “they” knew of the killer pack why wait until they killed 20 innocent girls before intervening? Oh and when 20 dames go missing in a small town – wouldn’t the cops be all over the place or even the National Guards at that point? Oh, and no, that rationalization as to why just shooting the dudes wasn’t “okay” made no sense to me – nice try at covering that plot hole though! I can go on, but I’ll stop right there, you get the picture. Either the script was dodgy or they lost common sense in the edit. Either way, it was pretty harsh! NOTE: Am I alone in thinking that a film about a girl hunting and murdering serial killers should be gory? Well this one was so dry it made My Little Pony look violent. Me no comprende amigos!
So yeah, methinks your enjoyment of FINAL GIRL will depend on just how good you are at switching your brain off in the name of having a good time! On my end, I pulled it off during the screening, but afterwards… yeah… the story started leaking sludge from orifice after orifice. On that, I dug the premise, Abigail was the tits (she should have spent 3 weeks in a boxing school though, I doubt they trained her for this) and I actually would like a sequel! Time will tell. So you going to tango with this broad or what?!