Sunday, November 29, 2015

The Final Girls

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching!  The Final Girls kinda sounds like an all-girl punk band.

The Final Girls – 4 out of 5

There was a dark time where Meta humor was completely misunderstood or just plain hated.  Had a film like The Final Girls came out a decade or so ago, it would have probably been overlooked or ignored but thanks to the internet making satire the It Thing now with comedy, features like this one can now flourish and find a bigger audience (and get better reviews) than it would have years previous.  With that being said, let’s re-release Last Action Hero for today’s audience because that was a Meta comedy about action films that I always felt never got its fair shake.

"It's called The Final Girls but there are guys, too.  This is sexist." - What a
Men's Rights Activist is no doubt saying about this film right now...and in a fedora.

Max Cartwright (Taissa Farmiga) is a teenager who lost her mother Nancy (Malin Akerman) to a car accident a few years back.  However, Max can always see her because she once starred in what is hailed as the greatest 80s slasher film; Camp Bloodbath.  At the behest of the film’s biggest fan; Duncan (Thomas Middleditch), Max and her friends Chris (Alexander Ludwig), Vicki (Nina Dobrev) and Gertie (Alia Shawkat), head to a double feature screening of the film and its sequel but, after a terrible incident sets the theater ablaze, the group mysteriously find themselves stuck in the film.  While it’s an emotional experience for Max to be, in a roundabout way, reunited with her mother, the group must also face the reality that they are stuck in a horror film and have to survive in order to get out.  So, as Duncan puts it, they have to find the girl who survives it all and kills the bad guy and stick with her.  The only problem is that the rules of the film have changed because of their presence.

I wonder if Camp Bloodbath has a plot twist similar to Sleepaway Camp.

The chemistry between mother and daughter in this film
will give you, what the internet says, the feels.
The Final Girls is a fairly creative send up of the slasher genre.  While not as smart or as witty as such films as the first Scream or Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, The Final Girls is a lot of fun and plays well enough on the clich├ęs that crafted the genre that contained such features as Friday the 13th and Halloween.  The cast is great, visually the film looks terrific as it easily (and creatively) differentiates the “real world” from the “movie world” and the film goes the extra mile of adding a decent level of emotion thanks to the plotline of Max reuniting with her mother.  Overall it’s a very fun film that isn’t trying to insult the slasher films it is lightly ribbing but rather lovingly spoofing them.

The movie world is so bright and pretty.

Honestly, it wouldn't have hurt to have at least a dozen
more scenes with Middleditch...and two or so less with
The only real downsides to the film is the fact that much of the comedy is a bit weak and the best bits are seen in the trailer.  Thomas Middleditch is a fantastically talented comedian (check out Silicon Valley, yo) and his few scenes are terrifically hilarious but he was sorely needed through much of the film.  Fans of Adam DeVine might enjoy his few scenes but that man always comes off like he’s trying too hard to be funny so I never really find him that amusing, only grating.  However, the biggest complaint I have and something that really hurt the film, in my opinion, is the fact this feature really needed to be rated R.  Making it a PG-13 film really waters a lot of its potential down and doesn’t really honor the source material it is lampooning.  This rating ended up eliminating a lot the elements you expect to see in slasher films; things like gore and pointless nudity.  Sure, they make fun of these films and their love of showing off naked flesh and it works (it didn’t really need boobies and butts to make this entertaining) but this movie really needed more guts and gore.  It just didn't feel like a proper slasher without copious amounts of blood.

I really wanted to make a pithy one-liner here about the burning arrows but
I just don't see the point.  It's not really a burning issue for me right now.

Despite its flaws, The Final Girls is creative and entertaining.  I didn’t find it as funny as I hoped it would have been and making it PG-13 really felt like a disservice and made it come off like it was a edited-for-television version of a more ballsy film but it’s still fun.  Its plays off the idea of regular people being thrown into a film extremely well and is definitely worth a watch for those who love dark comedies or are fans of the horror/thriller/slasher genres.

Somebody airbrush this on the side of my van...also buy me a van.

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