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31 days of Halloween: 5 final girl face-offs to close out spooky season

31 days of Halloween: 5 final girl face-offs to close out spooky season

31 days of Halloween: 5 final girl face-offs to close out spooky season
October 27
13:00 2022

It’s time for this series to reach the final act. The easiest way to make a horror movie instantly compelling is to give it a final girl to root for. The horror genre is full of slasher icons, but they would be nothing in pop culture if it weren’t for the epic showdown against their final girl.

This week’s list features some of the most remarkable final girls to hit the big screen. It is no coincidence this selection of movies also contains some of the greatest horror films ever made.

27. “You’re Next” (2011)

This may be the only film on the list where the killers should be afraid of the final girl. Erin, played by Sharni Vinson, has this certain alertness that will leave the viewer in constant awe.

The film itself is incredibly grounded. When a home invasion starts to unfold, Erin takes it upon herself to look after everyone in the house, while also protecting herself. When watching some favorite slasher movies this Halloween, try throwing this one into the mix.

Erin is one of the greatest portrayals of the beloved trope. Pair that with one of the greatest modern horror films ever made, and you have a killer final girl to start the final week with.

28. “Ready or Not” (2019)

This movie is one killer game of hide-and-seek. “Ready or Not” was one of the biggest surprises of 2019, with Samara Weaving’s performance acting as the glue holding it all together.

Weaving’s character, Grace, gets hunted by almost everyone in the film. The amount of pain and suffering she goes through has the audience begging for perseverance. Weaving also has the greatest final girl scream of all time.

From top to bottom, this entire film is absolutely perfect. The humor is dark, and the gore is overwhelmingly present. Weaving has cemented herself as this generation’s horror icon.

29. “A Nightmare on Elm Street” (1984)

In this franchise, getting a good night’s sleep is lethal. If that’s the case, a majority of college students have nothing to worry about. 

There is no Freddy Krueger without Nancy Thompson as his opposite. Heather Langenkamp embodies the final girl trope with perfection. She constantly wants what is best for her friends, even if it comes at the expense of her comfort.

The man in the striped sweater is the obvious draw in this blood-filled masterpiece, but having Nancy as the protagonist is what makes “A Nightmare on Elm Street” so special. The film is revolutionary in every aspect, and Robert Englund as Freddy Krueger will be forever engraved in the minds of those who aren’t even fans.

Having Freddy and Nancy go toe-to-toe is a masterclass display of what the trope is all about. Future horror films will be forever influenced. This wouldn’t be the last time the late and great Wes Craven changed the genre forever.

30. “Scream” (1996)

This film is the ultimate Craven classic. Sidney Prescott is the final girl trope, and Neve Campbell’s performance perfectly blends innocence with determination. The “Scream” franchise doesn’t have a bad film because of her presence.

The horror genre was on the brink of fizzling out, then “Scream” came to save the day. No one had ever seen a film so smart and ahead of its time – a theme its entire franchise continues to thrive at. There has never been a slasher easier to fall in love with.

“Scream” is as quotable as it is bloody, with this film having some of the most iconic moments in a horror movie. When Ghostface asks what your favorite scary movie is, one with Sidney as the final girl makes an incredibly easy answer.

31. “Halloween” (1978)

No final girl will ever top the original. The concept of the final girl has made its way through many eras of the horror genre, but Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode was the first domino to fall.

Debra Hill and John Carpenter created the greatest horror movie ever made. There is no way either of them could have predicted what the franchise would become. The previously listed final girls and their films would not exist if it wasn’t for the impact left by Laurie.

There is no better way to end this list. Surviving and fighting back is what being a final girl is all about, and no one does it better than Laurie.

Ending the Halloween season with “Halloween” may be generic, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. After all, it is Halloween — everyone’s entitled to one good scare. 

Featured Illustration by Isabella Isquierado

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Jaden Oberkrom

Jaden Oberkrom

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