TOP TEN FINAL GIRLS
GUYS IT'S MY BIRTHDAY ON SATURDAY!
And while I love my birthday and celebrating it - my celebration is no parties, no other people, just chillin' watching horror movies and reading my book in peace and quiet. In celebration of my birthday because I am an egotistical maniac I will be posting all weekend with Charlotte's Favorite Things.
I'll be doing a couple of posts - 29 of the best Stephen King novels/short stories, 29 of my favorite horror films, 10 of my favorite final girls, and 10 of my favorite horror novels in general. Cause you guessed it....I'm turning 29! I kind of wish it was 30 because that would make way more sense with the lists. And it's been really awkward to find 29.
Today's list shalllll beeeeee.....my top ten final girls! Full disclosure - these are in no particular order, because they are all perfect and amazing, and I feel bad ranking things, but also know that Sidney is my #1 and always will be.
While she may not be your traditional Final Girl, I'm claiming her as one because this woman has survived four Insidious films! She's also a very important piece of the Insidious puzzle and a lot of the story revolves completely around her, even when she's not the main figure. Elise is also tough as nails and has faced down many a terrifying spirit/demon and barely batted an eyelash.
Elise Rainier is played by the incredible Lin Shaye. Insidious The Final Key (aka Chapter 4) was recently released on Digital HD and a fifth installment is already in development.
While I loved the first two films, they lost me a little bit with the third and I have yet to see the fourth but will plan on it. Regardless, Elise is an incredible character and a refreshing change to the final girl trope.
I meannnnn....does she need an introduction? Every girl who grew up watching Alien wanted to be this bad ass bitch. Ripley was originally written as a male role and while Ripley is very masculine in a sense, her logical thinking and emotions are so very female. Played by Sigourney Weaver, her gender and sexuality have no place in this film and that's why she's so incredible. She's just one more member of a space crew who end up in a very terrible situation. Ripley never panics, she never leans on her male coworkers, she just gets shit done and saves herself.
I love you Ellen Ripley.
Starling is easily one of my favorite fictional characters of all time. I love her tough, no nonsense attitude, her constant struggle to prove herself in a male dominated world, and how truly emotional she really is. Clarice first appeared in Silence of the Lambs and then returned in Hannibal (though recast). She is a student at the FBI Academy who is sent by the BSU to interview Dr. Hannibal Lector and finds herself entangled in a serial killer murder case while having to fight against the mental games Lector plays. She's just so fucking complex and I love that. A lot of final girls either end up being incredibly over emotional or show no sign whatsoever, they're just TOUGH. But Starling, she allows herself to feel fear and anxiety and she fails and she falls from grace, and I love it.
In Silence of the Lambs Starling was played by Jodie Foster and in Hannibal she was played by Julianne Moore.
You're Next is one of my favorite horror films because while the premise is so simple it completely twists the home invasion genre on its head, and a lot of that is because of Erin. She's got this crazy weird upbringing and is just trying to live a very normal adulthood but when masked killers invade her vacation, she kicks into action. She's just a friggin' powerhouse of destruction in the most violent and creative ways. SHE USES A FREAKIN BLENDER AS A WEAPON! She also puts down insane Home Alone type booby traps while using her brain to keep one step ahead of the killers. Erin is just completely self sufficient and I made a lot of mental notes while watching this movie that I hope I never have to use in real life.
Erin is played by Sharni Vinson.
A final girl is someone who struggles against the odds to survive and Sally, played by Marilyn Burns, literally goes to the edge of hell and back and survives. She was also one of the first final girls. And based on the rumors and stories around the actual filming of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Burns had to survive in real life too. But what I love about Sally the most is that no matter how awful things are, no matter how many people die, or how close she comes to death, she continues to run and fight. And while she most likely loses her goddamn mind at the end. She survived.
Carter, played by Shauna Macdonald, is from another favorite movie of mine, The Descent. An incredible film with an all female cast, Carter is with a group of friends who go spelunking in unexplored caverns. The films female villain, Juno, had an affair with Sarah's husband and what makes Sarah the ultimate final girl is when she's faced with an incredibly tough decision near the end of the film. Leave Juno behind? Or save the woman who betrayed her and ultimately destroyed her life.
Through it all Sarah claws her way through terrifying odds chased by man eating creatures and not only protects her friends but protects herself. Without much dialogue, Sarah remains the obvious lead showing so much emotion with only her body movement and expressions.
You can't have a final girls list without Nancy, because this girl is the absolute best! Innocent yet complicated, good at heart, and loving. And also a total bad ass. Nancy is the perfect embodiment of a final girl and plays many tropes in a horror film, most notably dealing with a terrifying force that no one believes exists. She's also a survivor of a fractured family which she had to overcome before even facing Freddy. Nancy is the leader of her friends who pushes them to survive and investigate what is truly going on. She's molested by Freddy, mentally and physically scarred, chased, and put through one of the most challenging experiences - lack of sleep.
Nancy returns for Dream Warriors and returns as the actress herself, Heather Langenkamp, in Wes Craven's New Nightmare.
Played by Courtney Cox, Weathers appears in all four Scream movies and remains a powerhouse throughout all four. While Sidney usually takes the spotlight (because she's a perfect, beautiful snow angel) people forget that Weathers fights and survives alongside her the whole way. And boy does she take a beating. Weathers is a reporter who values her career and takes it very seriously, she'll do whatever she needs to and I respect that. I also love that as the movies progress, so does Gale. By the time we hit 4, she's got writer's block, she's stuck in a rut, and yet the minute she sniffs a new story, she becomes that same determined journalist we all love.
Gale is also tough as nails and has been stabbed, shot, punched, slapped, and still gets up and fights every time.
A survivor of multiple Halloween movies, and returning this fall to a new one, Strode is absolutely the definition of a final girl. Played by Jamie Lee Curtis, Laurie really cemented what a stereotypical final girl is. She's a meek teenager with a heart of virgin gold who's easily embarrassed and socially awkward but when danger appears she instantly jumps into action and protects herself and the children she's babysitting. Of course, throughout the franchise she hardens and changes and we see the stress of fighting for her life constantly take an affect on her. But even by resurrection when she's in an insane asylum, she chooses how it ends, and she's content with the choice she makes. An absolute hero in every way. I cannot wait for her return to screen!
This is no surprise. I absolutely adore Sid. Scream is so incredibly important to me and so is Sidney for all those cheesey reasons. Whenever life gets tough I think of Sidney and I take courage from her and continue on. Because throughout four movies Sidney is betrayed by everyone she loves, watches everyone she loves get murdered, and is visioucly tormented by a killer. Her journey is a complete one throughout the franchise as we watch her evolve from a virignal teenager to a hardened woman who can still love and care for others, despite the trauma she's experienced. By Scream 3 she uses her horrific experieces for good by helping other victims and by Scream 4 she's a motivational speaker finally accepting what she's been through and sharing her traumatic story for the good of others.
Sidney is incredible, and she never lets anyone push her around. She fights every single day and much like Gale, has been stabbed and attacked and is most likely covered in physical scars at this point. But she carries on and that is why, to me, Sid is the ultimate final girl.