To sum up my feelings about The Final Girls I have come up with two words…
It’s been years since I have been this pumped about a horror comedy, feeling the same high as I did the first time I watched Scream or Shaun of the Dead. Honestly, this is a great flick and so much fun to watch.

the-final-girls-2015-movie-image-3Writers M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller create an intelligent and witty duo. Choosing to have the characters enter a horror film from the 1980’s must have been a daunting task. Where does one draw the line in making fun of our own passion for the genre? The Final Girls found that line and smeared it with naked “hoot’s” (I’d totally motorboat them all night too). Although there was a lot of teasing about how corny the genre can be, Miller and Fortin cleverly followed the rules-of-horror seemingly without effort. Well written, nicely thought out and truly a happy horror feature to watch.

final-girls-billyDirector Todd Strauss-Schulson did a mega-fine job keeping the actors in character. The 1980’s was a different time, full of Aquanet, rock n’ roll and, absolutely no internet. Thankfully the characters didn’t spend the film whining about their lack of connection (as so oft happens in horror) instead the story unfolded beautifully while revealing a load of amazing personalities.  Billy Murphy, the big-bad in the flick, played by Dan B. Norris was well-rounded, his desire for vengeance was classic. A solid nemesis that could carry more features. From what I have seen in The Final Girls I am confident in saying that Norris has the potential to be the next Kane Hodder or, at the very least snuff out Principe. Being a sucker for back stories I really enjoyed the explanation why Billy had gone all murdery on the Camp Crystal Lake Camp Blue Finch counselors.

Though, I wonder what would have proceeded if they had stopped the occurring’s at the outhouse, I was more than happy to follow along with the journey. It was easy to bond with the different characters and when The Final Girls credits roll (with bloopers) I was left hoping a sequel will follow.

This story isn’t finished and fans are going to want more!


The actors really fell in to line with this. Taissa Farmiga has grown so much since her first major role on American Horror Story: Murder House, season one. She has a vulnerability to her that is very appealing and was able to convey an undertone of honest emotion throughout the hilarity of The Final Girls. Malin Akerman also gave a great performance, proving her to have a very diverse set of acting skills. Actor Adam DeVine is the man who I love to hate. Great at portraying a Super Douch that you want to high-five and dick-punch at the same time. Watching fellow Canadian, Thomas Middleditch light up on-screen was gratifying. It is genially fun to see a personality in a horror movie that loves horror, makes me geek out. Middleditch has a keen timing for humor and his facial expression/mannerisms make his character whole. Angela Trimbur gets a shout out because her character terrified me and made me want to never leave my apartment again, she really went all out for The Final Girls and succeeded at reminding me why I hate the University Students in my City. A sincerely great performance. The whole cast was great and worked off each others attributes as actors and what felt like friendship. There are so many to name I merely added the few that shined brightest to me. Needless to say all should be very proud.

The Final Girls is a great homage to the genre. There are some very straight forward nods to Classic Slasher’s like the obvious connections to Friday The 13th to Halloween 2 and others, which, I will leave up to audience to over-analyze. There are some delectable deaths and scares to make this alluring to horror fans, the characters were thought through enough to have their own distinct personalities traits and, the film is lush with comedy.

This really is a good movie. One that will appeal to a wide range of sub-genre fans, not just Slasher lovers. My feelings are this will become its own classic and in the years to come expect many knock-offs of The Final Girls.

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Flicks based around a poltergeist tend to be hard for me to swallow.  There is no doubt in my mind that ghosts do not exist, therefore I do not fear them.  Yes, every once in a blue moon I will get a good scare from a spiritual horror, but I also get that from movies about a clown with deadlights beaming from it’s eyes.

When the Lights Went Out is written and directed by Pat Holden, who has vocalized his families own experiences with the afterlife.  Holden used inspiration from what is known as a true haunting that took place in the 1970’s in Yorkshire.  The story is known as The Pontefract Poltergeist, Holden‘s own extended family’s experience.


Although the flick was a bit slow moving, everything from the setting to the dialogue to the actors told a solid story that felt like it was filmed in the 70’s.  Period pieces are difficult to do, especially ones where most people can remember what it was like to be alive during the era. I give Holden props for that accomplishment.

A lot of the conversations between the characters were boring and meaningless to the plot. Other problems for me were scenes like the father (Steven Waddington) getting so scared of ‘something’ in the basement that when he finally get out of the room he bitch-slaps his daughter Sally (Tasha Connor).  That didn’t flow for me and seemed like it was left in for shock value – that failed.


The movie took a nonchalant approach.  Most people I would think would have some sort of reaction having a friends mother ask not to have someone inside the residence due to a spirit.  In When the Lights When Out it was merely accepted by Sally to not have her peer in her home and she didn’t really question the motives behind it, or behind anything.  The subdued reaction of the mother (Kate Ashfield) after seeing an apparition was less than thrilling. A let down when you think of Ashfield‘s performance in Shaun of the Dead and know how much more she is capable of. Not a standout performance.

There’s not one actor who stood out in this film as they could all be considered part of the background.  Bland and out of date.  They all seemed to be following instructions and not participating in the creation of their characters.  A major let down as I feel this feature had potential to be truly dark and disturbing.


A scene towards the end of the movie where a séance is held  had the opportunity to really put a scare into the audience.  It ended up a dull and rusty attempt for more shock value.  There was no specific time in When the Lights Went Out that I felt unease, suspense or panic.  From beginning to end it felt like the movie was a rip-off of The Amityville Horror, The Exorcist, and Poltergeist.

Some people will view this movie and see it as artistic or genuine, to me it a film to be found on The Woman’s Network late at night.  Not terrible, definitely watchable, but don’t expect it to make your top ten ghost stories list.