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Final girl

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Olivia Hussey portrayed Jess Bradford in Black Christmas (1974), an early example of the final girl.
Olivia Hussey portrayed Jess Bradford in Black Christmas (1974), an early example of the final girl.

The final girl is a trope in horror films (particularly slasher films).[1][2] It refers to the last girl(s) or woman alive to confront the killer, ostensibly the one left to tell the story. The final girl has been observed in many films, including The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Halloween, Alien, Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream and Train to Busan.[3] The term was coined[4] by Carol J. Clover in her book Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film (1992).[5] Clover suggested that in these films, the viewer began by sharing the perspective of the killer, but experienced a shift in identification to the final girl partway through the film.

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Horror film

Horror film

Horror is a film genre that seeks to elicit fear or disgust in its audience for entertainment purposes.

Slasher film

Slasher film

A slasher film is a genre of horror films involving a killer stalking and murdering a group of people, usually by use of bladed or sharp tools like knife, chainsaw, scalpel, etc. Although the term "slasher" may occasionally be used informally as a generic term for any horror film involving murder, film analysts cite an established set of characteristics which set slasher films apart from other horror subgenres, such as monster movies, splatter films, supernatural and psychological horror films.

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a 1974 American horror film produced and directed by Tobe Hooper from a story and screenplay by Hooper and Kim Henkel. It stars Marilyn Burns, Paul A. Partain, Edwin Neal, Jim Siedow and Gunnar Hansen, who respectively portray Sally Hardesty, Franklin Hardesty, the hitchhiker, the proprietor, and Leatherface. The film follows a group of friends who fall victim to a family of cannibals while on their way to visit an old homestead. The film was marketed as being based on true events to attract a wider audience and to act as a subtle commentary on the era's political climate. Although the character of Leatherface and minor story details were inspired by the crimes of murderer Ed Gein, its plot is largely fictional. It is the first film of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise.

Halloween (1978 film)

Halloween (1978 film)

Halloween is a 1978 American independent slasher film directed and scored by John Carpenter, co-written with producer Debra Hill, and starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence, with P. J. Soles and Nancy Loomis in supporting roles. The plot centers on a mental patient, Michael Myers, who was committed to a sanitarium for murdering his babysitting teenage sister on Halloween night when he was six years old. Fifteen years later, he escapes and returns to his hometown, where he stalks a female babysitter and her friends while under pursuit by his psychiatrist.

Alien (film)

Alien (film)

Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and written by Dan O'Bannon. Based on a story by O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett, it follows the crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo, who, after coming across a mysterious derelict spaceship on an undiscovered moon, find themselves up against an aggressive and deadly extraterrestrial set loose on the Nostromo. The film stars Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, and Yaphet Kotto. It was produced by Gordon Carroll, David Giler, and Walter Hill through their company Brandywine Productions and was distributed by 20th Century Fox. Giler and Hill revised and made additions to the script; Shusett was the executive producer. The Alien and its accompanying artifacts were designed by the Swiss artist H. R. Giger, while concept artists Ron Cobb and Chris Foss designed the more human settings.

Friday the 13th (1980 film)

Friday the 13th (1980 film)

Friday the 13th is a 1980 American slasher film produced and directed by Sean S. Cunningham, written by Victor Miller, and starring Betsy Palmer, Adrienne King, Harry Crosby, Laurie Bartram, Mark Nelson, Jeannine Taylor, Robbi Morgan, and Kevin Bacon. Its plot follows a group of teenage camp counselors who are murdered one by one by an unknown killer while attempting to re-open an abandoned summer camp with a tragic past.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street

A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American supernatural slasher film written and directed by Wes Craven and produced by Robert Shaye. It is the first installment in the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise and stars Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger, and Johnny Depp in his film debut.

Scream (1996 film)

Scream (1996 film)

Scream is a 1996 American slasher film directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson. The film stars Neve Campbell, David Arquette, Courteney Cox, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, Skeet Ulrich, Jamie Kennedy, and Drew Barrymore. Released on December 20, it follows high school student Sidney Prescott (Campbell) and her group of friends in the fictional town of Woodsboro, California, who become the targets of a mysterious killer in a Halloween costume known as Ghostface. The film satirizes the clichés of the slasher genre popularized in films such as Halloween (1978), Friday the 13th (1980) and Craven's own A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). Scream was considered unique at the time of its release for featuring characters aware of real-world horror films who openly discussed the clichés that the film attempted to subvert.

Train to Busan

Train to Busan

Train to Busan is a 2016 South Korean action horror film directed by Yeon Sang-ho and starring Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-mi, Ma Dong-seok, Kim Su-an, Choi Woo-shik, Ahn So-hee, and Kim Eui-sung. The film mostly takes place on a high-speed train from Seoul to Busan as a zombie apocalypse suddenly breaks out in the country and threatens the safety of the passengers.

Carol J. Clover

Carol J. Clover

Carol Jeanne Clover is an American professor of Medieval Studies and American Film at the University of California, Berkeley. Clover has been widely published in her areas of expertise, and is the author of three books. Clover's 1992 book, Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film achieved popularity beyond academia. Clover is credited with developing the "final girl" theory in the horror genre, which has changed both popular and academic conceptions of gender in horror films.

Men, Women, and Chainsaws

Men, Women, and Chainsaws

Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film is a non-fiction book by American academic Carol J. Clover, published in 1992. The book is a cultural critique and investigation of gender in slasher films and the appeal of horror cinema, in particular the slasher, occult, and rape-revenge genres, from a feminist perspective. Although these films seem to offer sadistic pleasure to their viewers, Clover argues that these films are designed to align spectators not with the male tormentor, but with the female victim—the "final girl"—who finally defeats her oppressor. The book was nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for Best Non-Fiction in 1992.

Point-of-view shot

Point-of-view shot

A point of view shot is a short film scene that shows what a character is looking at. It is usually established by being positioned between a shot of a character looking at something, and a shot showing the character's reaction. The technique of POV is one of the foundations of film editing.

Usage of the term

The original meaning of "final girl", as described by Clover in 1992, is quite narrow. Clover studied slasher films from the 1970s and 1980s (which is considered the golden age of the genre)[6] and defined the final girl as a woman who is the sole survivor of the group of people (usually youths) who are chased by a villain, and who gets a final confrontation with the villain (whether she kills him herself or she is saved at the last minute by someone else, such as a police officer), and who has such a "privilege" because of her implied moral superiority (for example, she is the only one who refuses sex, drugs, or other such behaviors, unlike her friends).

Trope concept

A common plot line in many horror films is one in which several victims are killed one-by-one by a killer amid increasing terror, culminating in a climax in which the last surviving member of the group, usually female, either vanquishes the killer or escapes.

The final girl trope has evolved throughout the years, from early final girls most often being damsels in distress, often saved by a strong male (such as a police officer or heroic stranger), to more modern final girls who are more likely to survive due to their own abilities. According to Clover's definition, Lila Crane from Psycho (1960) is an example of a female survivor and not a final girl, due to her lack of moral purity, who is saved by a male (Sam Loomis, not to be confused with the Halloween character of the same name) at the film's ending. Laurie Strode from Halloween (1978) is a final girl, but one that is saved by someone else (also named Sam Loomis).[7]

On this basis, Tony Williams argues that, while 1980s horror film heroines were more progressive than those of earlier decades, the gender change is done conservatively, and the final-girl convention cannot be regarded as a progressive one "without more thorough investigation." [8] Furthermore, in many slashers, the final girl's victory is often ambiguous or only apparent. The fact that she is still alive at the end of the movie does not make her a victorious heroine. In many of these movies, the end is ambiguous, where the killer/entity is or might be still alive, leaving viewers uncertain about the future of the final girl (a notable example being Jess Bradford in 1974's Black Christmas). The viewers wait for a send-off or sequel bait, and are felt that they are left with an apparent victory. Tony Williams also gives several examples of final girls in the heroines of the Friday the 13th series, such as Chris Higgins from Part III. He notes that she does not conclude the film wholly victorious and is catatonic at the end of the film. Williams also observes that Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter does not have a final girl, despite Trish Jarvis surviving at the end. Additionally, Williams notes that final girls often survive, but in the sequel they are either killed or institutionalized. A notable example is Alice Hardy who survives Friday the 13th (1980) only to be killed in the beginning of Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981). Derek Soles argues that the tragic destiny of such final girls represents an expression of patriarchal society where capable, independent women must either be contained or destroyed.[9] In more recent films, this has started to change, with the final girl no longer being always doomed, a notable example being the Scream series.

According to Clover, the final girl in many movies shares common characteristics: she is typically sexually unavailable or virginal, and avoids the vices of the victims like illegal drug use. She sometimes has a unisex name such as Avery, Chris, or Sidney. Occasionally the final girl will have a shared history with the killer. The final girl is the "investigating consciousness" of the film, moving the narrative forward and, as such, she exhibits intelligence, curiosity, and vigilance. Another trope of slashers (particularly in the 1980s) is "death by sex", where sex scenes are shortly followed by violence, with the participants being murdered in gruesome ways.[10] More recent horror movies challenge more of these tropes. Buffy Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in the words of Jes Battis, "subverts" the final girl trope of B-grade horror films.[11] Jason Middleton observes that although Buffy fulfills the monster-killing role of the final girl, she is the opposite of Clover's description of a final girl in many ways. Buffy is a cheerleader, a "beautiful blond" with a feminine first name, and "gets to have sex with boys and still kill the monster".[12]

One of the basic premises of Clover's theory is that audience identification is unstable and fluid across gender lines, particularly in the case of the slasher film. During the final girl's confrontation with the killer, Clover argues, she becomes masculinized through "phallic appropriation" by taking up a weapon, such as a knife or chainsaw, against the killer. The phenomenon of the male audience having to identify with a young female character in an ostensibly male-oriented genre, usually associated with sadistic voyeurism, raises interesting questions about the nature of slasher films and their relationship with feminism. Clover argues that for a film to be successful, it is necessary for this surviving character to be female because she must experience abject terror, and many viewers would reject a film that showed abject terror on the part of a male. The terror has a purpose, in that the female, if she survives, is "purged" of undesirable characteristics, such as relentless pursuit of personal pleasure.

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Lila Crane

Lila Crane

Lila Loomis is a fictional character created by American author Robert Bloch in his 1959 thriller novel Psycho; she is the sister of Norman Bates's victim Marion Crane. She is revealed as the real protagonist of the novel in the final chapters, after several false protagonists, including her sister, get murdered. Lila is portrayed by Vera Miles in the 1960 film version and by Julianne Moore in the 1998 version. Additionally, Lila appears in Bloch's 1982 sequel novel Psycho II, and the unrelated 1983 sequel film of the same name, in which she serves as an antagonist.

Psycho (1960 film)

Psycho (1960 film)

Psycho is a 1960 American psychological horror thriller film produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The screenplay, written by Joseph Stefano, was based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The film stars Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin and Martin Balsam. The plot centers on an encounter between on-the-run embezzler Marion Crane (Leigh) and shy motel proprietor Norman Bates (Perkins) and its aftermath, in which a private investigator (Balsam), Marion's lover Sam Loomis (Gavin), and her sister Lila (Miles) investigate her disappearance.

Laurie Strode

Laurie Strode

Laurie Strode is a fictional character in the Halloween franchise by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. She debuted in the original 1978 film as a high school student who becomes targeted by serial killer Michael Myers on Halloween night. Laurie appears in nine of the franchise's 13 films and is generally considered the main protagonist of the series, with later films seeing Michael continue to threaten her life. Most entries depict her as Michael's younger sister, although this detail is not present in the first film and disregarded by the current 2018 continuity.

List of horror films of the 1980s

List of horror films of the 1980s

Horror films released in the 1980s are listed in the following articles:List of horror films of 1980 List of horror films of 1981 List of horror films of 1982 List of horror films of 1983 List of horror films of 1984 List of horror films of 1985 List of horror films of 1986 List of horror films of 1987 List of horror films of 1988 List of horror films of 1989

Friday the 13th Part III

Friday the 13th Part III

Friday the 13th Part III is a 1982 American slasher film directed by Steve Miner, produced by Frank Mancuso Jr., and starring Dana Kimmell, Paul Kratka, and Richard Brooker. It is the third installment in the Friday the 13th franchise. Set directly after the events of Friday the 13th Part 2, the plot follows a teenage girl (Kimmell) and her friends who go on a trip to a house near Crystal Lake where a wounded Jason Voorhees (Brooker) has taken refuge until reemerging for another killing spree. The film marks the first appearance of Jason's signature hockey mask, which has since become a trademark of both the character and the franchise, as well as an icon in American cinema and the horror genre in general.

Catatonia

Catatonia

Catatonia is a complex neuropsychiatric behavioral syndrome that is characterized by abnormal movements, immobility, abnormal behaviors, and withdrawal. The onset of catatonia can be acute or subtle and symptoms can wax, wane, or change during episodes. There are several subtypes of catatonia: akinetic catatonia, excited catatonia, malignant catatonia, delirious mania, and self-injurious behaviors in autism.

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter is a 1984 American slasher film directed by Joseph Zito, produced by Frank Mancuso Jr., and starring Kimberly Beck, Corey Feldman, Crispin Glover, and Peter Barton. It is the fourth installment in the Friday the 13th franchise. Picking up immediately after the events of Part III, the plot follows a presumed-dead Jason Voorhees who escapes from the morgue and returns to Crystal Lake to continue his killing spree. The film marks the debut of the character Tommy Jarvis (Feldman), who would make further appearances in two sequels and related media, establishing him as Jason's archenemy.

Alice (Friday the 13th)

Alice (Friday the 13th)

Alice Hardy is a fictional character in the Friday the 13th franchise. Alice first appears in Friday the 13th (1980) as an artist working as a camp counselor. She is portrayed by Adrienne King—who reprises the role in the sequel Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) and the fan film Jason Rising (2021). Alice's creator, Victor Miller, scripted her as a flawed character, envisioning her in an affair. Once production began on the original film, budgetary constraints limited the deeper exposition intended for Alice's character.

Friday the 13th Part 2

Friday the 13th Part 2

Friday the 13th Part 2 is a 1981 American slasher film produced and directed by Steve Miner in his directorial debut, and written by Ron Kurz. It is the sequel to 1980's Friday the 13th, and the second installment in the franchise. Adrienne King, Betsy Palmer and Walt Gorney reprise their respective roles from the first film as Alice Hardy, Pamela Voorhees, and Crazy Ralph. Amy Steel and John Furey also star. Taking place five years after the first film, Part 2 follows a similar premise, with an unknown stalker killing a group of camp counselors at a training camp near Crystal Lake. The film marks the debut of Jason Voorhees as the series' main antagonist.

Buffy Summers

Buffy Summers

Buffy Anne Summers is the title character of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise. She first appeared in the 1992 film Buffy the Vampire Slayer before going on to appear in The WB/UPN 1997–2003 television series and subsequent 1998–2018 Dark Horse and 2019–present Boom! Studios comic series of the same name. The character has also appeared in the spin-off series Angel, as well as numerous expanded universe materials such as novels and video games. Buffy was portrayed by Kristy Swanson in the film and by Sarah Michelle Gellar in the television series. Giselle Loren has lent her voice to the character in both the Buffy video games and an unproduced animated series, while Kelly Albanese lent her voice to the character in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight motion comics.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an American supernatural drama television series created by writer and director Joss Whedon. It is based on the 1992 film of the same name, also written by Whedon, although they are separate and otherwise unrelated productions. Whedon served as executive producer and showrunner under his production tag Mutant Enemy Productions.

Chainsaws in popular culture

Chainsaws in popular culture

Chainsaws, the common logging and woodworking tool, are also a common sight in popular culture.

Notable characters

1970s

Mari Collingwood

While the character Mari Collingwood in the original 1972 version of the film The Last House on the Left has been viewed as primarily a victim, the 2009 remake of the film portrays the Collingwood character as more aligned with the "final girl" archetype. In Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study,[13]

Jess Bradford

An early example of a "final girl" can be found in the film Black Christmas (1974), where Jess Bradford, played by Olivia Hussey, is a well-developed character who refuses to back down against a series of more or less lethal male antagonists.[14]

Sally Hardesty

Sally Hardesty from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), created by Tobe Hooper and portrayed by Marilyn Burns, has been regarded as one of the earliest examples of the final girl trope.[15]

Laurie Strode

According to Clover, Laurie Strode (from Halloween, Halloween II, Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, Halloween Resurrection, Halloween (2018), Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends) is another example of a final girl. Tony Williams notes that Clover's image of supposedly progressive final girls are never entirely victorious at the culmination of a film nor do they manage to eschew the male order of things as Clover argues. He holds up Strode as an example of this. She is rescued by a male character, Dr. Samuel Loomis, in the ending of Halloween.

Ellen Ripley

Before the release of Alien 3, Clover identified Ellen Ripley from the Alien franchise as a final girl. Elizabeth Ezra continues this analysis for Alien Resurrection, arguing that by definition both Ripley and Annalee Call must be final girls, and that Call is the "next generation of Clover's Final Girl". In Ezra's view, Call exhibits traits that fit Clover's definition of a final girl, namely that she is boyish, having a short masculine-style haircut, and that she is characterized by (in Clover's words) "smartness, gravity, competence in mechanical and other practical matters, and sexual reluctance" being a ship's mechanic who rejects the sexual advances made by male characters on the ship. However, Ezra notes that Call fits the description imperfectly as she is a gynoid, not a human being.[16]

Christine Cornea disputes the idea that Ripley is a final girl, contrasting Clover's analysis of the character with that of Barbara Creed, who presents Ripley as "the reassuring face of womanhood". Cornea does not accept either Clover's or Creed's views on Ripley. While she accepts Clover's general thesis of the final girl convention, she argues that Ripley does not follow the conventions of the slasher film, as Alien follows the different conventions of the science fiction film genre. In particular, there is no foregrounding in Alien, as there is in the slasher film genre, of the character's sexual purity and abstinence relative to the other characters (who would be, in accordance with the final girl convention, killed by the film's monster "because" of this). The science fiction genre that Alien inhabits, according to Cornea, simply lacks this kind of sexual theme in the first place, as it has no place in such "traditional" science fiction formats.[17]

Sue Snell

In Brian De Palma's 1976 film based on Stephen King's 1974 novel, Carrie, Sue Snell (played by Amy Irving) is the sole survivor of Carrie White's telekinetic outburst of destruction at a high school prom.[18]

1980s

Ginny Field

The character Ginny Field (from Friday the 13th Part 2) has often been viewed as an example of the trope. In The Dread of Difference: Gender and the Horror Film, Barry Keith Grant stated that, "Ginny temporarily adopts Mrs. Voorhees's authoritarian role to survive. Although circumstances necessitate this, she clearly uses her enemy's strategy to become a phallic mother herself. This posture really questions the positive image of the Final Girl." He then called her "not victorious" when she called out for her boyfriend at the end of the film saying that it was done in a "non-independent manner".[19] John Kenneth Muir references Ginny in Horror Films of the 1980s, Volume 1, saying "Amy Steel is introduced as Ginny, our final girl and heroine, and the only person who seems to have an inkling of the nearby danger. She's more resourceful than Alice and nearly upstages even Laurie Strode during the film's tense finale, wherein she brazenly dresses up as Jason's dead mother and starts barking orders at the confused serial killer."[20] In Blood Money: A History of the First Teen Slasher Film Cycle, Richard Nowell said "The shift in characterization of the female leads was also trumpeted during Ginny's self-confident entrance (Amy Steel) in Friday the 13th Part II. Where the makers of its predecessor introduced Alice as she prepared cabins while dressed in denim jeans and a shapeless lumberjack shirt, the sequel's conventionally attractive lead is established immediately as combining masculine traits with feminine attributes. Ginny exits a battered VW bug in a flowing fuchsia skirt and a low-cut t-shirt."[21] Ginny's adoption of the monster's own strategy, in Part II, brings into question whether the final girl image is in fact a wholly positive one.[8]

Nancy Thompson

The character Nancy Thompson (from A Nightmare on Elm Street and A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors), has often been regarded as one of the most influential horror movie heroines. In his book Horror films of the 1980s, John Kenneth Muir[22] references Nancy Thompson.

1990s

Sidney Prescott

The character Sidney Prescott (from Scream films), is widely recognized as one of the most iconic and popular horror film heroines. Ana Horvat describes Sidney Prescott as "embodying the most important characteristics of the Final Girl".[23][24]

Gale Weathers

The character of Gale Weathers (also from the Scream films) is recognized as “one of the most seminal character arcs in horror movie history”.[25] Often cited as a foil to protagonist Sidney Prescott, her character development over the course of the series has led many critics to acknowledging her as a prominent final girl as well.[26][27]

2010s

Dana Polk

Characters in the 2011 horror film The Cabin in the Woods explicitly discuss Dana's role as the final girl after a zombie attack on her and her friends. As part of a human sacrifice ritual that mirrors various horror film traditions and requires the deaths of five slasher movie archetypes: "the whore," "the athlete," "the scholar," "the fool," and "the virgin," the equivalent of the final girl who can die last or survive.[28][29]

Victoria Heyes

Heyes from the 2016 slasher film Terrifier has been observed by some critics to be a darker depiction of the "final girl" archetype. Having been driven insane by the events in the film, Heyes becomes a killer herself.[30] An analysis by Brendan D. describes Victoria as a reflection of Art—"Our most recent final girl is Victoria from Terrifier, and what makes her so unique is her post-final girl status. Most final girls appear in the sequel or following situation as a capable guide for the next group of cannon fodder to demonstrate the villain's return. Instead, the trauma corrupts Victoria; she becomes monstrous like Art, with a disfigured appearance; and the brutality of a live-show death when a talk-show host mocked her. She is not a heroine but a dark reflection of the atrocities Art the Clown committed, fit for ridicule and loathing."[31]

Tree Gelbman

John Squires[32] of Bloody Disgusting described Happy Death Day's Tree Gelbman as a modern example of the trope and contrasts her to Friday the 13th's Alice Hardy.

2020s

Maxine Minx

The character Maxine Minx (from X films), manages to escape the farm alone where she and her friends have endured horrors under the elderly couple during the night. Attempting to ignore her own resemblance to Pearl—the elderly farm owner—by yearning to be a star, Maxine kills Pearl and drives away from the farm. ScreenRant says that “As her friends are killed off in increasingly creative ways, Maxine emerges as the film's Final Girl.”.[33]

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Mari Collingwood

Mari Collingwood

Mari Collingwood is a fictional character in The Last House on the Left films. She first appears in The Last House on the Left (1972) as a hippie girl abducted on her seventeenth birthday by a fugitive family. Conceptualized by Wes Craven, she was portrayed by a twenty-two-year-old Sandra Peabody in one of her early film appearances. Director Dennis Iliadis brings the character back in the 2009 reimagining, this time portrayed by Sara Paxton.

Jess Bradford

Jess Bradford

Jess Bradford is a fictional character in the Black Christmas franchise. She is the main protagonist of Bob Clark's seminal slasher film Black Christmas (1974) in which she was portrayed by actress Olivia Hussey. Hussey, known internationally at the time for her role as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (1968), signed on to the role after a psychic told her that she would be involved in a profitable Canadian film. Despite the dark undertones of the film and the mature themes, Hussey has described shooting the film as a great experience.

Black Christmas (1974 film)

Black Christmas (1974 film)

Black Christmas is a 1974 Canadian slasher film produced and directed by Bob Clark, and written by A. Roy Moore. It stars Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin, Lynne Griffin and John Saxon. The story follows a group of sorority sisters who receive threatening phone calls and are eventually stalked and murdered by a deranged killer during the Christmas season.

Marilyn Burns

Marilyn Burns

Marilyn Burns was an American actress. Burns was known for playing Sally Hardesty in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), which established her as a scream queen and a catalyst of the final girl trope. She reprised the role with a cameo in Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1995), and played Verna Carson in Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013), the latter being her last appearance in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. In 2009, she was inducted into the Horror Hall of Fame at the Phoenix Film Festival.

Laurie Strode

Laurie Strode

Laurie Strode is a fictional character in the Halloween franchise by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. She debuted in the original 1978 film as a high school student who becomes targeted by serial killer Michael Myers on Halloween night. Laurie appears in nine of the franchise's 13 films and is generally considered the main protagonist of the series, with later films seeing Michael continue to threaten her life. Most entries depict her as Michael's younger sister, although this detail is not present in the first film and disregarded by the current 2018 continuity.

Halloween (1978 film)

Halloween (1978 film)

Halloween is a 1978 American independent slasher film directed and scored by John Carpenter, co-written with producer Debra Hill, and starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence, with P. J. Soles and Nancy Loomis in supporting roles. The plot centers on a mental patient, Michael Myers, who was committed to a sanitarium for murdering his babysitting teenage sister on Halloween night when he was six years old. Fifteen years later, he escapes and returns to his hometown, where he stalks a female babysitter and her friends while under pursuit by his psychiatrist.

Halloween II (1981 film)

Halloween II (1981 film)

Halloween II is a 1981 American slasher film directed by Rick Rosenthal, in his directorial debut, written and produced by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, and starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence who reprise their respective roles as Laurie Strode and Dr. Sam Loomis. It is the second installment in the Halloween film series and is a continuation sequel to Halloween (1978). The plot picks up directly after the cliffhanger ending of the first film, with Michael Myers following survivor Laurie Strode to the local hospital, while his psychiatrist Dr. Loomis continues his pursuit of him.

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later is a 1998 American slasher film directed by Steve Miner, and starring Jamie Lee Curtis, LL Cool J, Adam Arkin, Michelle Williams, Janet Leigh and Josh Hartnett in his film debut. It is the seventh installment in the Halloween franchise. Ignoring the Jamie Lloyd story arc of the previous three installments, H20 is a direct sequel to the second film. It follows a post-traumatic Laurie Strode, who has faked her death in order to go into hiding from her murderous brother, Michael Myers, who finds her working at a private boarding school in California.

Halloween: Resurrection

Halloween: Resurrection

Halloween: Resurrection is a 2002 American slasher film directed by Rick Rosenthal, who had also directed Halloween II in 1981. Larry Brand and Sean Hood devised the screenplay. The film is a direct sequel to Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later and the eighth installment overall in the Halloween franchise. It stars Busta Rhymes, Bianca Kajlich, Thomas Ian Nicholas, Ryan Merriman, Sean Patrick Thomas, Tyra Banks and Jamie Lee Curtis, with Brad Loree as the primary villain Michael Myers. This was the final installment of the H20 timeline of the Halloween franchise, which had just been rebooted with the previous movie in 1998, before it was rebooted again in 2007 and again in 2018. The film follows Myers continuing his murderous rampage in his hometown of Haddonfield when his childhood house is used for a live internet horror show.

Halloween (2018 film)

Halloween (2018 film)

Halloween is a 2018 American slasher film directed by David Gordon Green and co-written by Green, Jeff Fradley and Danny McBride. It is the eleventh installment in the Halloween film series and a sequel to the 1978 film of the same name, while disregarding all previous sequels. The film stars Jamie Lee Curtis who reprises her role as Laurie Strode. James Jude Courtney portrays Michael Myers, with Nick Castle returning to the role for a cameo. Halloween also stars Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Haluk Bilginer, and Virginia Gardner. Its plot follows a post-traumatic Laurie Strode who prepares to face Michael Myers in a final showdown on Halloween night, forty years after she survived his killing spree.

Halloween Kills

Halloween Kills

Halloween Kills is a 2021 American slasher film directed by David Gordon Green and co-written by Green, Danny McBride and Scott Teems. It is the sequel to 2018's Halloween and the twelfth installment in the Halloween franchise. The film stars Jamie Lee Curtis and James Jude Courtney, who reprise their roles as Laurie Strode and Michael Myers respectively. Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, and Will Patton also reprise their roles from the previous film, with Anthony Michael Hall and Thomas Mann joining the cast. The film, which begins where the previous film ended, sees Strode and her family continuing to fend off Myers, this time with the help of the Haddonfield community.

Halloween Ends

Halloween Ends

Halloween Ends is a 2022 American slasher film directed by David Gordon Green and co-written by Green, Danny McBride, Paul Brad Logan and Chris Bernier. It is the sequel to Halloween Kills (2021), the thirteenth installment in the Halloween franchise, and the final film in the trilogy of sequels that started with the 2018 film, which directly follows the 1978 film. The film stars Jamie Lee Curtis, Andi Matichak, Rohan Campbell, Will Patton, Kyle Richards, and James Jude Courtney. The film revolves around Corey Cunningham, a young man who falls in love with Laurie Strode's granddaughter while a series of events, including crossing paths with Michael Myers, render him a murderous outcast.

List of final girls

Final Girl Film Killer(s) Notes
Lila Crane Psycho (1960) Norman Bates Becomes an antagonist and is killed in the sequel by Emma Spool.
Mari Collingwood The Last House on the Left (1972) Krug Stillo In the original, Mari is killed and her body is left in a lake. In the remake, she survives, and barely ends up making it back to her parents' house.
Jess Bradford Black Christmas (1974) Billy In the film's ending, Jess is put to bed by the police and left alone in the sorority house: only to discover that Billy is still present in the attic. With that, Jess's fate is left ambiguous: with fans never knowing if she survived or not.
Sally Hardesty The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) The Sawyer family Died in Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022)
Laurie Strode Halloween (1978) Michael Myers Died off-screen in Halloween 4 (1988); retconned by H20 (1998); died on-screen in Resurrection (2002); also retconned.
Ellen Ripley Alien (1979) The deadly extraterrestrial Died in Alien 3 (1992); returned (as a clone) in Alien Resurrection.
Alice Hardy Friday the 13th (1980) Pamela Voorhees Died in Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
Ginny Field Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981) Jason Voorhees
Chris Higgins Friday the 13th Part III (1982) Jason Voorhees
Nancy Thompson A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) Freddy Krueger Died in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
Sidney Prescott Scream (1996) Ghostface Departed the franchise after Scream (2022)
Gale Weathers Scream (1996) Ghostface
Tree Gelbman Happy Death Day (2017) Lori Spengler / Babyface Killer

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Lila Crane

Lila Crane

Lila Loomis is a fictional character created by American author Robert Bloch in his 1959 thriller novel Psycho; she is the sister of Norman Bates's victim Marion Crane. She is revealed as the real protagonist of the novel in the final chapters, after several false protagonists, including her sister, get murdered. Lila is portrayed by Vera Miles in the 1960 film version and by Julianne Moore in the 1998 version. Additionally, Lila appears in Bloch's 1982 sequel novel Psycho II, and the unrelated 1983 sequel film of the same name, in which she serves as an antagonist.

Psycho (1960 film)

Psycho (1960 film)

Psycho is a 1960 American psychological horror thriller film produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The screenplay, written by Joseph Stefano, was based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Robert Bloch. The film stars Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin and Martin Balsam. The plot centers on an encounter between on-the-run embezzler Marion Crane (Leigh) and shy motel proprietor Norman Bates (Perkins) and its aftermath, in which a private investigator (Balsam), Marion's lover Sam Loomis (Gavin), and her sister Lila (Miles) investigate her disappearance.

Norman Bates

Norman Bates

Norman Bates is a fictional character created by American author Robert Bloch as the main antagonist in his 1959 thriller novel Psycho. He has an alter, Mother, who takes from the form of his abusive mother, and later victim, Norma, who in his daily life runs the Bates Motel.

Emma Spool

Emma Spool

Emma Spool is a fictional character created by screenwriter Tom Holland for the 1983 film Psycho II. She serves as the primary antagonist, and is portrayed by Claudia Bryar. More attention is given to her character in Psycho III, although she only appears as a corpse.

Mari Collingwood

Mari Collingwood

Mari Collingwood is a fictional character in The Last House on the Left films. She first appears in The Last House on the Left (1972) as a hippie girl abducted on her seventeenth birthday by a fugitive family. Conceptualized by Wes Craven, she was portrayed by a twenty-two-year-old Sandra Peabody in one of her early film appearances. Director Dennis Iliadis brings the character back in the 2009 reimagining, this time portrayed by Sara Paxton.

Jess Bradford

Jess Bradford

Jess Bradford is a fictional character in the Black Christmas franchise. She is the main protagonist of Bob Clark's seminal slasher film Black Christmas (1974) in which she was portrayed by actress Olivia Hussey. Hussey, known internationally at the time for her role as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (1968), signed on to the role after a psychic told her that she would be involved in a profitable Canadian film. Despite the dark undertones of the film and the mature themes, Hussey has described shooting the film as a great experience.

Black Christmas (1974 film)

Black Christmas (1974 film)

Black Christmas is a 1974 Canadian slasher film produced and directed by Bob Clark, and written by A. Roy Moore. It stars Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, Andrea Martin, Lynne Griffin and John Saxon. The story follows a group of sorority sisters who receive threatening phone calls and are eventually stalked and murdered by a deranged killer during the Christmas season.

Billy (Black Christmas)

Billy (Black Christmas)

Billy is a fictional character from the Black Christmas film series. He first appeared in Black Christmas (1974), as a deranged murderer who taunts and kills a group of college students during the Christmas season. Created by Bob Clark and A. Roy Moore, the character was partly inspired by the urban legend "The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs", as well as a series of real murders in Montreal during the 1943 holiday season.

Laurie Strode

Laurie Strode

Laurie Strode is a fictional character in the Halloween franchise by John Carpenter and Debra Hill. She debuted in the original 1978 film as a high school student who becomes targeted by serial killer Michael Myers on Halloween night. Laurie appears in nine of the franchise's 13 films and is generally considered the main protagonist of the series, with later films seeing Michael continue to threaten her life. Most entries depict her as Michael's younger sister, although this detail is not present in the first film and disregarded by the current 2018 continuity.

Halloween (1978 film)

Halloween (1978 film)

Halloween is a 1978 American independent slasher film directed and scored by John Carpenter, co-written with producer Debra Hill, and starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Donald Pleasence, with P. J. Soles and Nancy Loomis in supporting roles. The plot centers on a mental patient, Michael Myers, who was committed to a sanitarium for murdering his babysitting teenage sister on Halloween night when he was six years old. Fifteen years later, he escapes and returns to his hometown, where he stalks a female babysitter and her friends while under pursuit by his psychiatrist.

Michael Myers (Halloween)

Michael Myers (Halloween)

Michael Myers is a fictional character from the Halloween series of slasher films. He first appears in John Carpenter's Halloween (1978) as a young boy who murders his elder sister, Judith Myers. Fifteen years later, he returns home to Haddonfield, Illinois, to murder more teenagers. In the original Halloween, the adult Michael Myers, referred to as The Shape in the closing credits, was portrayed by Nick Castle for most of the film and substituted by Tony Moran in the final scene where Michael's face is revealed. The character was created by John Carpenter and has appeared in thirteen films, as well as novels, multiple video games, and several comic books.

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later is a 1998 American slasher film directed by Steve Miner, and starring Jamie Lee Curtis, LL Cool J, Adam Arkin, Michelle Williams, Janet Leigh and Josh Hartnett in his film debut. It is the seventh installment in the Halloween franchise. Ignoring the Jamie Lloyd story arc of the previous three installments, H20 is a direct sequel to the second film. It follows a post-traumatic Laurie Strode, who has faked her death in order to go into hiding from her murderous brother, Michael Myers, who finds her working at a private boarding school in California.

In literature

As the slasher genre has drifted into literature, the tropes of the genre have found new expression, such as in the Stephen Graham Jones novels The Last Final Girl (2012) and My Heart Is a Chainsaw (2021) and the Grady Hendrix novel The Final Girl Support Group (2021).

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Source: "Final girl", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 25th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_girl.

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References

Citations

  1. ^ Clover 1992, pp. 35.
  2. ^ Harper 2004, pp. 31.
  3. ^ Rogers 2002, pp. 118, 120.
  4. ^ Totaro 2002.
  5. ^ Clover 1992, pp. 260.
  6. ^ Kerswell, Kerswell, J. A. (Justin A.) (2012). The slasher movie book. Chicago, Ill.: Chicago Review Press. ISBN 9781556520105. OCLC 761851819.
  7. ^ Clover, Carol J. (1993). Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film. Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691006208.
  8. ^ a b Williams 1996, pp. 169–170.
  9. ^ The Essentials of Academic Writing, by Derek Soles, pg 374.
  10. ^ Linz, Daniel; Donnerstein, Edward (1994). "Dialogue: Sex and violence in slasher films: A reinterpretation". Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media. 38 (2): 243–246. doi:10.1080/08838159409364261.
  11. ^ Battis 2005, pp. 69.
  12. ^ Middleton 2007, pp. 160–161.
  13. ^ Heller-Nicholas, Alexandra (2011). Rape-Revenge Films: A Critical Study. McFarland. pp. 92–93. ISBN 9780786449613.
  14. ^ Piepenburg, Erik (October 22, 2015). "In Horror Films, the 'Final Girl' Is a Survivor to the Core". The New York Times. Retrieved October 24, 2015.
  15. ^ "Marilyn Burns: The First 'Final Girl' - Bloody Disgusting". bloody-disgusting.com. October 2, 2014. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  16. ^ Ezra 2008, pp. 73–74.
  17. ^ Cornea 2007, pp. 150–151.
  18. ^ "Short Cut: Carrie's Final Girl and the Precariousness of Survival - Horror Movie". Horror Homeroom. February 2, 2016.
  19. ^ Grant, Barry (2015). The Dread of Difference: Gender and the Horror Film. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0292772458.
  20. ^ Muir, John (2012). Horror Films of the 1980s, Volume 1. MacFarland. ISBN 978-0786455010.
  21. ^ Nowell, Richard (2010). Blood Money: A History of the First Teen Slasher Film Cycle. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. p. 210. ISBN 978-1441188502.
  22. ^ Muir, John (2012). Horror Films of the 1980s, Volume 1. McFarland. ISBN 978-0-78645-501-0.
  23. ^ Horvat, Ana. (2018). Final Girl: Analysis of the Slasher Film Trope (MSc). University of Zadar.
  24. ^ Clover, Carol J. (1987). "Her Body, Himself: Gender in the Slasher Film". Misogyny, Misandry, and Misanthropy. 20: 187–228. doi:10.1525/9780520327306-010. ISBN 9780520327306.
  25. ^ "Gale Weathers is a Classic Final Girl". Dread Central. June 15, 2022.
  26. ^ "Why Scream's Gale Weathers Can Be Seen As A Strong Final Girl Too". Game Rant. March 19, 2022.
  27. ^ "Who Are The Ultimate Final Girls in Horror Gallery: From 'Laurie Strode', to 'Sidney Prescott' & 'Dorothy Gale'". Deadline. October 25, 2022.
  28. ^ "5 Horror Movies that Subvert the "Final Girl" Trope". Paste Magazine. April 5, 2017.
  29. ^ "From Laurie Strode to Sidney Prescott: Horror's best final girls". The Telegraph. October 31, 2017.
  30. ^ "FILM REVIEW: TERRIFIER". Fear Forever. March 27, 2018.
  31. ^ D., Brendan (July 22, 2021). "The Final One: An Analysis of Horror Character Tropes". The Membrane's Journal. Retrieved January 5, 2022.
  32. ^ Squires, John (February 14, 2019). "'Happy Death Day' Heroine Tree Gelbman is the Perfect Survivor Girl for a Whole New Generation". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  33. ^ ""The 10 Most Iconic "Final Girls" in Horror Movie History". Screen Rant. October 6, 2022. Retrieved December 19, 2022.

Bibliography

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