While a festival like South by Southwest always offers a bountiful selection of cinematic treats worth feasting on, no genre excites me more than horror does. You might have noticed this already though, since almost all my reviews out of South by Southwest were wild genre explorations, mostly taking place during the wee hours of every morning, under the influence of alcoholic milkshakes, cheesy late-night pizzas, and fresh-baked cookies from Alamo’s kitchen. Seems like the perfect place for horror, right?
Todd Strauss-Schulson’s The Final Girls is easily South by Southwest’s brightest hidden gem, after playing to a packed house of howling movie lovers during the festival’s opening night. My full review of the film sums up my feelings pretty well on Strauss-Schulson’s trippy homage/horror comedy, but let me stress again how much of a treat this film is for horror fans. We typically don’t get emotional storytelling of this ilk, or such vibrant visual spectacles. It’s a little less Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil, and a little more Pleasantville. In an awesome way.
During SXSW, I had the pleasure to interview writer/director Todd Strauss-Schulson and chat about this riotous new film, and I was able to view it in a new light given his thoughts on what The Final Girls represents. On the surface, Strauss-Schulson’s creation is a horror comedy about being stuck in a cult-classic slasher flick, but once you hear the director talking about his relationship with the horror genre, you realize there’s far more than kills, gore, and scares. It’s about strong women, genre jesting, and a wittily comedic story that services diehard horror fans in ways that Strauss-Schulson could have never imagined. And this coming from someone who is EXTREMELY protective of the horror genre.
Check out our interview in the video above and be sure to keep The Final Girls on your radar for its distribution announcement. This is one you’ll kick yourself for missing.