It’s finally here: spooky season, and we’re ready to check out some of our favorite horror movies featuring final girls. Who is the final girl of a horror film, you might ask? Well, besides the obvious connotation that the final girl is the last woman standing at the end of horror movies, there are a lot of tonal, societal implications about this horror genre trope.
The term was first coined by Carol J. Clover in her book Men, Women & Chainsaws: Gender in Modern Horror Film. Clover studied slasher films from the ‘70s and ‘80s and identified this specific archetype as a character, usually a teen girl or young woman, who can evade the villain of the horror film, has a final confrontation with the villain, and is the sole survivor of their group based on some sense of demonstrated moral superiority within the context of the story. That moral superiority was often the final girl’s purity or abstinence, and luckily horror has come a long way from sending that message about the type of woman who can survive a horror film.
Over the decades, we’ve seen this final girl trope manifest in so many ways in popular and independent horror films. Now that we’re finally heading toward Halloween, we’ve gathered some of our favorite final girls dating back to the 1970s and to today. From the early iteration of the final girl in Friday The 13th to the uncompromising ferocity of Ready Or Not, read on for some of our favorite examples of the final girl in horror movies.
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