Meta horror has caught many genre fanatics by surprise over the last twenty years, with horror now much more heavily leaning into its own tropes and cliches in a far more analytical and pastiche way.
Alongside the success of the mind-bending meta horror film The Cabin in the Woods was 2015’s love-letter to the 80s slasher genre The Final Girls. Literally transporting its characters to an 80s slasher film, it’s been heavily slept upon by mainstream audiences but seven years later is finally feeling the love come its way.
Fans are now looking back lovingly on the film, with celebrations coming to it after a long wait between drinks.
Starring a modern scream queen in Taissa Farmiga and Watchmen star Malin Akerman, The Final Girls was released after several years in development hell. The script was originally picked up by New Line Cinema, but got shopped out and took until 2014 to start pre-production.
A mother-daughter story at its heart, but molded by the horror scenario around it, it’s also a rare case of a horror film with a real emotional core. So often the genre gets infatuated with its own gory delights it can forget the more human elements, but not The Final Girls.
Some viewers did take issue with arguably weak rating of a PG-13, as opposed to a full-blown R-rating. The need to cut down on violence and blood almost feels like a statement on PG-13 horror which lacks the edge of an 18+ release. Not every PG horror movie can be as good as Arachnophobia, after all.
Fans of subverted tropes like in The Final Girls may also get a kick out of similar releases like Happy Death Day and Freaky, both of which play heavily with horror’s foundations. Horror comedy is a tough one to get right, with the subgenre often left waiting for releases.
No sequel looks likely for The Final Girls, unfortunately. Lacking a proper cinematic release, its only monetary gains came from DVD sales of which it did well with. Estimated home video sales amounted to roughly $1.4 million, with positive reviews not enough to convince studios of a follow-up.
The Final Girls is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.