Final Girl (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Tyler Shields|
|Screenplay by||Adam Prince|
|Music by||Marc Canham|
|Edited by||Trevor Mirosh|
Final Girl is a 2015 American action horror thriller film directed by Tyler Shields in his directorial debut, written by Adam Prince, based on the story by Stephen Scarlata, Alejandro Seri, and Johnny Silver. It stars Abigail Breslin, Alexander Ludwig, and Wes Bentley. Breslin plays a young woman who is trained from childhood to defeat a group of high school boys who hunt and kill their female classmates. Cinedigm gave it a limited release in cinemas and through video on demand on August 14, 2015.
A five-year-old Veronica meets with a man named William after her parents have died. He asks her how she feels about it, and she responds that people die all the time. After she demonstrates total memory recall, he offers to take her in and train her for a job that is only for "special" people. After he explains that his wife and child were killed by "a very bad man,” she accepts.
Twelve years later in the 1960s America, Veronica prepares to finish training. She and William enter the woods so she can acclimate to running barefoot. William explains she cannot use a gun since they are useless after running out of bullets. William teaches her how to put someone in a choke-hold. For the last bit of her training, she is given a combination of truth serum and DMT, a hallucinatory drug, to confront her greatest fear, so she can understand what her victims will be experiencing. Despite believing herself fearless, Veronica confronts her fear of failure.
Four seventeen-year-old boys named Jameson, Daniel, Nelson, and Shane meet at a diner. Jameson, their leader, chooses blonde women to hunt and kill. Their latest prey is a girl named Gwen. The boys take her to the woods, where they murder her. On a recon mission, Veronica meets Shane's girlfriend, Jennifer, at the diner. They bond over their boy issues, revealing Veronica's romantic feelings for William despite their age difference and her awareness that he is emotionally unavailable. Jennifer tells her the boys are on the verge of falling apart. Next, using herself as bait, Veronica meets Jameson at the diner and accepts a date, having been told to come with clean hair and red lipstick.
Before leaving, Veronica writes "I Love You" in lipstick on her mirror. The boys pick her up at the diner and take her to the woods, where they play truth or dare. Offering a whiskey flask to the boys from her purse, she tricks all except Jameson into drinking the hallucinogen. She draws the dare 'Die' and asks to go home, but they refuse to take her. Jameson assures her that they will not rape her because women do not run so well following sexual assault. He gives her five minutes to run, which she takes after getting rid of her heels so she can fight. The boys do not wait and go after her immediately.
The first boy, Daniel, hallucinates two panda heads in suits coming after him; it is actually Veronica, who kills him with his own axe. Next, Veronica goes after Nelson. He sees a group of gray figures circling around him whom he tries to fight. His mother appears and they kiss deeply before he dies as Veronica crushes his head with a rock. Jameson discovers his friends' bodies and is intrigued.
A car drives up to the front of the woods, and Jennifer gets out. She finds Jameson and asks about Shane; however, Jameson comes onto her. Before she started dating Shane, she lost her virginity to Jameson. She gives into his advances and just as they start kissing, Shane appears. Betrayed, he punches Jameson, who taunts him by saying people like them cannot love. Jameson explains to Jennifer what they do in the woods, despite Shane's protests. Shane punches out Jameson and, while saying he loves her, chokes Jennifer, who turns out to be a hallucination - Veronica, just before she strangles him.
Jameson and Veronica come face to face and talk before fighting. They play a game of asking questions where each has to answer any question truthfully. Jameson says he has killed 21 women, counting her. When Veronica reveals she enjoyed killing his friends, he proposes they work together, but she refuses. They fight until he passes out from a choke-hold that William taught Veronica earlier. She forces him to drink the drugged alcohol and, when he awakens, finds himself standing on a tree stump with a tight noose around his neck. Crying, he begs for his life, swearing that he will never kill again but Veronica does not believe him. As the drugs take effect, his victims, including Gwen, come out of the trees and move toward him. In his terror, Jameson steps off the tree stump and hangs himself. William appears and congratulates Veronica, and they go to the diner to eat pancakes.
- Abigail Breslin as Veronica
- Gracyn Shinyei as Young Veronica
- Alexander Ludwig as Jameson, The Mastermind
- Wes Bentley as William
- Cameron Bright as Shane
- Reece Thompson as Nelson
- Francesca Eastwood as Gwen
- Logan Huffman as Daniel
- Emma Paetz as Jennifer
- Desiree Zurowski as Nelson's mother
On May 21, 2012, Abigail Breslin joined the cast of the film as a lead actress. Later, in October 2012, Alexander Ludwig also joined the cast. That same month, Wes Bentley joined in an unspecified role. Other actors that later joined the cast include Logan Huffman, Cameron Bright, and Francesca Eastwood.
The film was released in the United States on August 14, 2015, in a limited release and through video on demand. The film was released in the United Kingdom through video on demand on August 31, 2015.
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Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 27% of 11 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 3.2/10. Justin Chang of Variety wrote, "...the subsequent fist-pummeling action feels wearyingly repetitive and predictable, despite the regular flashes of visual inspiration".
- "Shields to direct Final Girl". Variety. November 29, 2011. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
- "Photographer Tyler Shields to Helm Different Final Girl Horror Film". FirstShowing.net. November 30, 2011. Retrieved August 7, 2013.
- "Abigail Breslin Gets Title Role In Final Girl". Deadline.com. May 21, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
- "Alexander Ludwig Joins Final Girl". MovieWeb.com. October 2, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
- "Wes Bentley Joins Thriller Final Girl". Deadline.com. October 26, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
- "Wes Bentley & More Join Abigail Breslin for Final Girl, New Artwork Revealed". ShockTillYouDrop.com. October 23, 2012. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
- "Final Girl (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
- Chang, Justin (August 12, 2015). "Film Review: 'Final Girl'". Variety. Retrieved March 18, 2016.