Final Girl Phenomenon

Final Girls are hot right now. What are FINAL GIRLS? A final girl is a horror trope, which refers to the last girl standing in a horror film (or book) to face the killer and live to tell the story.

I’ve read two new books released last month just in time for the spooky season, and I was lucky enough to meet both authors at special library events. They were both very much inspired by the rise of the horror movie genre in the early 80s. You know, my high school prime, lol. I watched all those movies: Friday the 13th, Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, etc. for the first time then and remember them being so scary!

After reading Grady Hendrix’s The Final Girl Support Group and Stephen Graham Jones’ My Heart is a Chainsaw last month, I decided I needed a slasher refresher and cued them all up to rewatch. I added Scream as well because somehow I had missed that one. I love all things monsters, but HUMAN monsters I do not love. I think they are way scarier. I won’t watch series like Saw or Hostel, torture porn is not my scene. I don’t need that in my head.

Somehow, slasher movies, especially the old ones that lean toward campy (no Camp Crystal Lake pun intended), are just more fun than scary. I gotta say, the first time around in the early 80s though, I was scared. But this time, I just found myself laughing and marveling at all the young actors who appeared in those shows and went on to big movie careers like Kevin Bacon and Johnny Depp for example.

I’d give both of these books FIVE STARS and definitely recommend them. Grady Hendrix has a very entertaining website as well. He has read and reviewed hundreds of 70s and 80s horror fiction novels. It’s worth your time to read a few of his reviews. 😀 Also, if you ever have a chance to see Grady Hendrix and hear him speak on the history of slashers, it is well worth your time.

He was delightful.