Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson
Cast: Taissa Farmiga, Malin Akerman, Adam DeVine
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 8.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
When Max (Taissa Farmiga) and her friends reluctantly attend a anniversary screening of “Camp Bloodbath,” the infamous ’80s horror film that starred Max’s late mother (Malin Akerman), they are mysteriously sucked into the silver screen. They soon realize they are trapped inside the cult classic movie and must team up with the fictional and ill-fated camp counselors, including Max’s mom as the scream queen, to battle the film’s machete-wielding killer. With the body count rising in scene after iconic scene, who will be the final girls left standing and live to escape this film?
Sometime after losing her mother in a car accident in which she was also involved in, Max (Farmiga) reluctantly agrees to make an appearance at a special screening of the cult classic slasher film that kick started her mother’s career and that she was never able to completely live down before her untimely passing. When a fire breaks out at the screening Max and her friends miraculously escape the burning theater only to discover they have somehow been pulled into the world of the film. With no clue how to escape this artificial world, they join forces with the films fictional characters including the girl Max’s mother portrays and fight their way along in an attempt to survive until the final reel, hoping that once the final girl takes out the killer they will be returned to the real world. The only problem is figuring out exactly who the final girl may be now that their arrival has begun to alter the films preordained events from their given course.
Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson (A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas) from a script by M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller, Strauss-Schulson does a phenomenal job at the helm, guiding this hilarious and ridiculously fun tale with ease, capturing every aspect with near perfection. ‘The Final Girls’ also benefits tremendously from the perfectly selected individuals who comprise the cast, including many familiar faces such as Taissa Farmiga (TV’s American Horror Story), Malin Akerman (Watchmen), Adam DeVine (TV’s Workaholics & Modern Family), Nina Dobrev (TV’s The Vampire Diaries), Thomas Middleditch (TV’s Silicon Valley), Alia Shawkat (TV’s Arrested Development), Alexander Ludwig (Lone Survivor) and more, all of whom deliver capable performances at the very least in each of their respective roles.
‘The Final Girls’ is a smart, hilarious and fun throwback to the slasher genre and the many cult classics its provided us over the years (most notably in its golden age of the 1980’s) which can easily be reflected in one degree or another inside of the films film. Boosted by a perfectly selected cast and a director who obviously felt quite passionately about the project as is reflected in the care and precision noticeable throughout, the result is one ridiculously clever and enjoyable ride. Each time I thought ‘The Final Girls’ couldn’t possibly get any more clever it managed to find a unique way to prove me wrong, continually throwing an absolutely perfect reflection of classic 80’s slasher fare at the audience in the most hilariously fitting manner possible. Overall, I can’t possibly recommend ‘The Final Girls’ highly enough, especially to the many genre fans out there for whom this one is a definite must see.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Final Girls’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic, delivering a rich, sharp and detailed presentation from start to finish, beautifully representing the bright, warm colors that are always so prominently on display in the film. It holds up impressively even during the fast moving and darkly lit sequences, never resulting in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a top notch high definition video presentation that should not disappoint in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds great and contributes yet another layer of fun to this incredibly enjoyable nod to the slasher genre. It provides a clean, discrete and hard-hitting audio presentation, frequently utilizing all five available channels to surround the viewer with the wonderfully fitting soundtrack in addition to numerous creepy noises and random background activity, while never hesitating to add some room shaking bass to the mix, most notably with certain parts of the score; never causing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is an aggressive, fun and solid 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that should easily please the casual viewers and audiophiles alike.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Final Girls’ includes a number of notable extras. Included on the release are ‘2 Audio Commentary’ tracks; the first a ‘Cast & Crew Commentary’ and the second a ‘Writer’s Commentary’. Also included are a number of ‘Deleted, Extended and Alternate Scenes with Optional Director’s Commentary’ (running approximately 22 minutes altogether), in addition to ‘Pre-Vis Animation’ for multiple sequences (approximately 6 minutes), and a ‘Visual Effects Progression Reel’ (3 minutes). ‘Director’s Shooting Notes’ are also available on the release although only via BD-ROM.