Final Girl (2015)

Action, Drama, Thriller
Abigail Breslin, Wes Bentley, Logan Huffman, Alexander Ludwig
A pack of teenage boys choose the wrong girl to be the victim of their 'initiation'.
  • 14 Aug 2015 Released:
  • N/A DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Adam Prince (screenplay), Stephen Scarlata (story) Writer:
  • Tyler Shields Director:
  • N/A Website:

All subtitles:

It should be good, but not very well made3/10
I saw the trailer to this and it appealed to me. I like both the main actors. They have proved they are good. But this film doesn't take long before your realise it is a little cheap. Questionable dialogue and poor cinematography.

The story is neither here or there. I have seen worse. But the way it is executed just leaves you wondering if this was a student project. The build up to the climax is clumsy and made me chuckle a few times. Abigail is a fine actress but this film did nothing to help her. She just wasn't convincing in this role. Especially if I compare next to the film: Hannah.

So in summary; Weak story, poor production, bad cinematography and failed direction that lets the actors down. Not recommended.
Breslin beautiful as always7/10
I don't why people are expecting a lot from this as it clearly is a B movie. In the scenes in the forest at night there is big bright lights which you can tell are studio lamps.

I felt it was a good story myself. I got up during the movie and it certainly isn't one of those movies you miss the beginning and you have no idea what is going on.

The feature of the film was definitely the scenes of Abigail Breslin fighting in a cocktail dress. If you don't like Abigail Breslin or just generally hate on women who have a lot of bust showing in movies then this movie probably isn't for you.
Shadowy Exteriors5/10
Final Girl is basically putting the Hit-Girl trope to the slasher genre, which can be a pretty cool concept. The film's style is some sort of a fancy old-school mystery film, highlighting shadows and silhouettes through creaking walls, cafeterias and streets. Visually appealing stuff, rather enjoyed for being effectively overly campy for its low budget. But the story itself is just downright silly and even worse, meaningless. The movie sets up a little girl training to beat up dangerous men, but it instead lead us to a number of strange events, which results to such polarizing schlock.

Even for its shoddiness, the weird style could still be admired for being way too campy. The story centers on a secret organization that hires vigilantes, and everything else about them is a huge mystery. We only see two characters in their dark shadowy headquarters; it's either for the sake of being extremely minimal, or just really underdeveloped. But the important thing is, they're hiring a young girl to fight off their targets. In spite of training and even raising her in this cold- blooded environment, the main character, Veronica, still doesn't seem like she's as strong or as unfeeling as she is supposed to be. It makes everyone wonder what exactly did she train throughout her childhood. She's not given much of an arc either. The film just presumes that she is not competent enough at some points. It can be a useful good to bring some suspense, but instead, she is given an incredible dose of deus ex machina in this "daring mission" that would easily take down her targets.

While it makes the whole mission a lot weirder, all we see is just some amateurish looking acid trip that is supposed to represent their fear, but looks more totally random than disturbing. The fighting is hidden behind the vague shadows and the on screen blood is very reserved. All the slasher/gory fun is replaced with artsy pretentiousness. And for some reason, that can also be one of the benefits of the film. In a typical mindset, the experience may just be some terribly shot mindless violence on screen. Not saying that this approach is anything fresh or superior at all, it's just pretty rare that it manages to do something a little different. It brings some tongue-in-cheek characters, blanketing their shadows into some exteriors with lighting fetishes (the headlights of the gang's car is super strong enough to shine the entire forest). The movie brings some flavor, but it didn't gloss over enough about the fact how pointless this story all was. The acting is fine, they're basically as campy as the cinematography.

Final Girl is a cool looking film with a pretty ridiculous story that lacks severe subtext. The movie may have painted a lot of interesting shadows through its darkness which makes it effectively campy as hell, add some symmetry that somewhat turn buildings into dollhouses, make headlights spotlighting every hallucination, and characters chew the scenery because it's more intimidating that way, but then it's all just pretty images. It all lacks grotesque and gore, or even more important: meaning. While it's reasonably to get fascinated by a typical B-movie's decision have such obsession with silhouettes and lights, the story just doesn't make any sense in the end.
Not ready for prime time.4/10
Let me just mention the positives first. The shot compositions are beautiful for a lot of this movie. I kept thinking I bet a photographer directed this. I looked it up and sure enough a photographer directed this movie. Not just a photographer, but an exceptional one. His work is evocative and beautiful. I'm not sure he really understands cinematography and editing though.

A girl is recruited for her intellect and trained for 10 years to turn the tables on a gang of murders. None of the training is shown except for a few scenes in which, despite having 10 years of training, the girls seems like a beginner. The fight scenes are edited to mask the fact that clearly, this 10 year trained assassin looks like someone who just walked into a gym for the first time and was asked to stand in a boxing stance.

Because you know from the start of the movie that the girl has been training, essentially, all her life to fight these guys, you never get the sense that she is in any real danger or that the outcome is ever in question. There's no real suspense to this film. Plus she drugs three of them with a hallucinogenic before the encounter. So we have a 10 year trained assassin against 4 untrained, unsuspecting, drugged yahoos. She should have torn through them like a pitbull through a fresh steak. Instead, the story drags out due to one contrivance or another and some boring melodrama until, SURPRISE, she wins and becomes the final girl. I totally did not see that coming.

The actors try their best but their performance lack gravitas. I don't think it's all their fault though, what more could they do with a script that seems threadbare and devoid of any subtext whatsoever.

Everything just seemed like an excuse to make a few beautiful photographic compositions. The rest is utterly forgettable.

It's a strange byproduct of the digital age of film making that anyone with a moderate amount of money and time can make a film. So many films have been produced so quickly that there aren't enough great film ideas to keep top tier talent working, directors and actors. So every month you have a ton of half baked films featuring high caliber actors who have to keep working just to pay the bills. Sure the digital revolution has democratized film making, but you have to shovel through mountains of crap to find a decent one nowadays.
Prey becomes predator7/10
There is something about hunted-to-hunter films that gets my adrenaline pumping. Final Girl is no exception.It is an entertaining movie for the aforementioned reason yet it has a few imperfections that prevent it from being even more entertaining.

The premise is simple: four male thrill-killers place would-be female victims in a "game" scenario in order to experience the thrill of the chase. Most of their quarries end up dead except for their latest "victim," Veronica.

It turns out that Veronica has been training for that one moment since childhood thanks to the mentoring of the man whose wife and child the quartet killed several years back. She uses her survival skills to turn the tables on the hunters and ends their killing spree once and for all.

The story is straightforward enough, with the rationale behind the thrill-killing at least partially (though not satisfactorily) explained. The action scenes are decently done and believable enough. For me, the highlights of the film lie in two scenes: one, where the quartet come face to face with their worst fears after Veronica drugs them; two, when Veronica attempts to "seduce" her teacher in the beginning only to be rebuffed.

Speaking of the character, Abigail Breslin does a decent job of portraying her assassin-type character. This is the first action- oriented role I've seen her in and she handles it acceptably well. However, the way that she handles it is the film's greatest strength and also its greatest weakness.

I've seen how Breslin handled her roles in Ender's Game and Maggie, and I looked forward to seeing how she handled this one. The good part about her portrayal is that she got the innocence, girl-next- door and fear portions down pat. Given her previous performances, it's no surprise at all.

The problem came in during the other scenes when she had to play the role of assassin. This, in my opinion, is where the movie could have been improved. In other words, Breslin was really good at the good girl parts, so much so that the assassin and seductress parts got left behind somewhat. There was noticeably less "oomph" when she had to switch from good girl mode to assassin mode or seductress mode. Her mentor and her assailants in the film looked more natural in their roles than she did in hers.

In all fairness to her, she looked like she was doing her best to be willful and deadly and menacing during the scenes when those qualities were called for. However, she still looked like she was groping about a little when trying to get the nuances of her character right. It may be that that was intentional and she was doing her best to act in a way that looked like she was unsure of herself (it was her character's acid test, after all). However it is also possible that she is simply not completely suited for or not used to an assassin-huntress role of that type and she is still finding her way.

In any case, I still enjoyed the movie and found it decently entertaining, if a bit predictable. Breslin's character portrayal isn't exactly at La Femme Nikita level yet, yet she can hold her own in an action film. I know that, with a little more practice, she can nail the nuances of a similar character down eventually in the future.