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ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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The Final Girls (2015)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson

Starring:
Taissa Farmiga/Max
Malin Akerman/Amanda
Adam DeVine/Kurt
Alexander Ludwig/Chris
8 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
A group of teenagers are transported inside a slasher movie “The Last Action Hero” style. Once there they have to avoid getting maimed by the killer, find a way out while young Max (Taissa Farmiga) befriends a character in the film, one that was played by her real life dead mother (Malin Akerman). Whaaa?!
THE LOWDOWN

THE FINAL GIRLS (not to be confused with the Abigail Breslin film FINAL GIRL) was basically THE LAST ACTION HERO but for the slasher subgenre. The former deconstructed the conventions found in 80’s action flicks to varied degrees while affectionately making fun of them and THE FINAL GIRLS (WATCH IT HERE) did the same damn thing! Am talking; the stock slasher characters (the hunk, slut, token black guy, the bad girl etc), the sex = death rule, the “virginal” final girl that eventually defeats the baddie and more! Most of the known tropes were slyly addressed, resulting in a rocking good time! To make matters even better THE FINAL GIRLS didn’t just target slashers in general, but namely the King of Them All: FRIDAY THE 13th! The summer camp setting, the similar killer back-story, a spin on the famous KI KI MI MA MA MA “Jason is coming” warning sound… it was all there! 

Needles to say that FRIDAY THE 13TH fans will get an even bigger kick out of this one, than somebody that is not aware of the ins and outs of the franchise. I know I did! Your enjoyment of this ride will also depend (IMO of course) on the nature of your sense of humor and your knowledge of the slasher conventions. The slasher genre from the 80’s is un-PC when compared to today’s “watch what you say and what you show but not what you do” standards, hence the sexually charged, somewhat juvenile and crass humor found here reflected that. Lucky for me, immature yuk-yuks are right up my alley hence I laughed my ass off for the bulk of the running time. Now that I think of it, anytime the token slut or the typical “sex craved” hunk popped up onscreen (more on them in a second) I was on the freaking floor. Speaking of the characters, this one had one hell of a cast! Taissa Farmiga (yes Vera’s daughter) was ideal as our main heroine. She was likeable and man did she know how to cry. Every time her eyes watered in the film, I was moved! Malin Akerman (of Watchmen fame) delivered too! Cute, affable and wearing her vulnerability on her sleeve. LOVED HER!

On his end, Thomas Middleditch had me in stitches as the slasher fanboy while Alexander Ludwig (who was also in FINAL GIRL, dude loves that title), Nina Dobrev and Alia Shawkat all owned it in their respective roles. On that, it was the side characters that stole the show for this jerk. Namely Adam DeVine as the 80’s stud stock role and Angela Trimbur as the horny 24/7 hussy that just wants to pull that top down. DeVine obviously did lots of improv and by result had the best one liners. As for Trimbur, her showcase was more axed on physical comedy, but was  just as funny. Add to all that a mucho kinetic visual style by Todd Strauss-Schulson (now that was one "on the move" camera), some trippy ass SUSPIRIA like lighting that greased my retinas right, an eerie score by Gregory James Jenkins and surprisingly efficient dramatic moments that tugged at my dead-beat heart-strings and you get a horror/comedy with flair and wit!

On the flip-side, I was disappointed that they didn’t explore the “killer walks – the victim runs – the killer catches up and kills them anyways” slasher convention which was prevalent in Halloween and in teh later Friday the 13th flicks. But that wasn’t a huge deal. I also missed one very funny character that disappeared during the middle act of the movie. Too bad as he/she was making me chuckle lots. But my true and main peeve with this one was its PG-13 rating, which resulted in no nudity and little to zero gore – you know the two main ingredients in 80's slasher films? Yeah those. It lessened the impact of the movie in my opinion. Every time a dry muder erupted it was akin to a joke with no punch line. Being that this baby is getting the VOD release – I have no f-ing idea as to WHY somebody would satire a R rated subgenre with kiddie gloves on. Makes no sense to me…

It is a statement as to how entertaining THE FINAL GIRLS was that I am still giving it such a high mark even though it handled its exploitation elements in a pussy-ass (oh no, I said pussy, somebody, somewhere just got offended...) fashion. What can I say, this one made my night! I was smiling the whole way through! Hope it does the trick for you too!

GORE
Light blood… and yeah...that was it. Pretty sad how they went about it.
T & A
Chick in a bra… enjoy!
BOTTOM LINE
I had a blast with THE FINAL GIRLS! It was visually flamboyant/creative, had a solid cast, made me laugh (Adam DeVine killed it), moved me (Farminga so nailed the dramatic bits) and managed to poke fun at 80's slasher conventions while giving them a big hug! Granted it baffled me that a film deconstructing and acting as a love letter to 80’s slashers would take the Pussy-13 highway but overall I mucho enjoyed it none the less, which says a lot right there!
BULL'S EYE
Malin Akermanwas born in Stockholm, Sweden but raised in Toronto, Canada.

The screenplay was co-written by Joshua John Miller who of corse played Homer in Near Dark (1987).
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1:59AM on 10/11/2015
I remember whining about the PG-13 rating when I saw the trailer for this flick earlier this year. As I child of the 80's, I grew up on boobs, blood, and cuss words. That's one of the things that made the era so great!! I'm willing to give this a go regardless based on Arrow's solid review and my love for the Farminga's, but I'll have to wash it down with a dose of F13 The Final Chapter and a 12 of Rolling Rock's to get over this PG-13 cop out!
I remember whining about the PG-13 rating when I saw the trailer for this flick earlier this year. As I child of the 80's, I grew up on boobs, blood, and cuss words. That's one of the things that made the era so great!! I'm willing to give this a go regardless based on Arrow's solid review and my love for the Farminga's, but I'll have to wash it down with a dose of F13 The Final Chapter and a 12 of Rolling Rock's to get over this PG-13 cop out!
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6:48PM on 10/09/2015
It was good, however Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon was better. Should have been rated R and even more tongue-in-cheek. They didn't deconstruct it enough...everything they made fun of was in the trailer. It was like a made for ABC family movie.
It was good, however Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon was better. Should have been rated R and even more tongue-in-cheek. They didn't deconstruct it enough...everything they made fun of was in the trailer. It was like a made for ABC family movie.
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4:40PM on 10/09/2015
One of my favourite movies of 2015! I loved it! But I agree the PG13 rating really harms the film. It's my ONLY flaw. If the movie really went for the R rating and filled the movie with some gore, I would call it a masterpiece.

Just so you know, Taissa is actually Vera's younger sister!
One of my favourite movies of 2015! I loved it! But I agree the PG13 rating really harms the film. It's my ONLY flaw. If the movie really went for the R rating and filled the movie with some gore, I would call it a masterpiece.

Just so you know, Taissa is actually Vera's younger sister!
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