2015, Movies

The Final Girls (2015, Todd Strauss-Schulson)

This is a reasonably clever and inventive horror comedy which doesn’t have enough laughs and which has a few too many continuity problems whenever you start thinking about it.

So the conceit is fairly fun – a bunch of “teens” (none of them were actually teens) – attend a horror movie screening and end up in the film. It just so happens that one of the girls is the daughter of one of the actresses.

Especially early on there are some pretty good jokes, particularly related to the characters being stuck in this low budget ’80s horror movie. Whenever you think too much, things don’t really work as well, but it’s brisk and entertaining enough that you don’t really care that much. Though it’s clear the budget is pretty low, this isn’t a big hindrance when the jokes are working.

But the longer the film runs, the more the problems mount. And, as with so many films that try to straddle the line between comedy and other genres, the jokes peter out the longer the film goes on. And the continuity issues that plagued the movie from the beginning become more and more apparent. I wish I had written some of them down but one I remember is that a scene in the slasher film happens later than it should because it suits the characters that have come into the movie. The film as a whole also gets a little serious, which is, um, a serious mistake in my book.

If there were more jokes or if the concept was thought-through a little better, I’m sure I wouldn’t mind the continuity errors as much or I wouldn’t mind the slightly serious mother-daughter moment at the end. But the problem is it just isn’t consistently funny or clever enough. It works some of the time and, at its best, it’s pretty fun, but it doesn’t work consistently enough.


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