The Final Girls (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
October 31, 2015 by Dennis Amith
“The Final Girls” is a film that no doubt has the potential to become a cult classic. It’s an enjoyable, hilarious slasher/comedy film that is done well and I really do hope there is sequel! Recommended!
TITLE: The Final Girls
FILM RELEASE: 2015
DURATION: 91 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 Aspect Ratio), English 7.1 Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible), Portuguese and French 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish and Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English SDH, Chinese (Traditional), French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai
COMPANY: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
RATED: PG-13 (Horror Violence, Some Crude and Sexual Material, Language and Drug Use)
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson
Screenplay by M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller
Executive Producers: Darren M. Demetre
Produced by Michael London, Janice Williams
Music by Gregory James Jenkins
Cinematography by Elie Smolkin
Edited by Debbie Berman
Casting by Kerry Barden, Tracy Kilpatrick, Paul Schnee
Production Design by Katie Byron
Art Direction: Alexi Gomez
Set Decoration by Rachael Ferrara
Costume Design by Lynette Meyer
Taissa Farmiga as Max Cartwright
Malin Akerman as Nancy/Amanda Cartwright
Alexander Ludwig as Chris Briggs
Nina Dobrev as Vicki Summers
Alia Shawkat as Gertie Michaels
Thomas Middleditch as Duncan
Adam DeVine as Kurt
Angela Trimbur as Tina
Chloe Bridges as Paula
Tory N. Thompson as Blake
When Max (Taissa Farmiga) and her friends reluctantly attend an anniversary screening of “Camp Bloodbath”, the infamous ‘80s horror film that starred Max’s late mother (Malin Akerman), they are mysteriously sucked into the silver screen. They soon realize they are trapped inside the cult classic movie and must team up with the fictional and ill-fated camp counselors, including Max’s mom as the scream queen, to battle the film’s machete-wielding killer. With the body count rising in scene after iconic scene, who will be the final girls left standing and live to escape this film? THE FINAL GIRLS is a genre-blending horror comedy also starring Adam DeVine, Thomas Middleditch, Alia Shawkat with Alexander Ludwig and Nina Dobrev.
From director Todd Strauss-Schulson (“A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas”) comes the horror slasher comedy film “The Final Girls”.
Co-written by M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller, the film stars Taissa Farmiga (“The Bling Ring”, “American Horror Story”, “6 Years”), Malin Ackerman (“Watchmen”, “The Proposal”, “The Heartbreak Kid”, “Couples Retreat”), Alexander Ludwig (“Lone Survivor”, “The Hunger Games”, “Race to Witch Mountain”), Nina Dobrev (“The Vampire Diaries”, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, “Chloe”), Alia Shawkat (“Arrested Development”, “Three Kings”, “Whip It”), Thomas Middleditch (“The Wolf of Wall Street”, “The Campaign”), Adam DeVine (“Pitch Perfect” films, “Neighbors”), Angela Trimbur (“Halloween II”, “The Kings of Summer”, “The Future”), Chloe Bridges (“Camp Rock 2: Final Jam”, “The Carrie Diaries”, “Family Weekend”) and Tory N. Thompson (“D.C. Sniper”, “Me Without You”).
While “The Final Girls” had a limited release in the United States, the film would receive positive reviews for its parody of slasher films.
And now “The Final Girls” will be released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
“The Final Girls” introduces us to horror actress Amanda Cartwright (portrayed by Malin Akerman) and her young daughter Max (portrayed by Taissa Farmiga). Amanda continues to audition for films but she has been stereotyped for her role as “Scream Queen Nancy” in the 1986 slasher film “Camp Bloodbath”, a film that has become a horror cult film classic.
But as the two were driving, they get involved in car accident and Amanda is killed.
Fastforward three years later and on the anniversary of her mother’s death, Max joins her best friend Gertie (portrayed by Alia Shawkat), her crush Chris (portrayed by Alexander Ludwig), Duncan’s ex-girlfriend Vicki (portrayed by Nina Dobrev), Gertie’s stepbrother Duncan (portrayed by Thomas Middleditch), who is a horror film fan and all go to the theater to watch “Camp Bloodbath” and its sequel, with Max as a special guest.
But when the a spilled bottle of alcohol and a cigarette butt falls and causes a fire in the theater, chaos erupts and Max rips a hole through the film screen in order to escape.
When Max wakes up, she along with Chris, Gertie, Duncan and Vicki find themselves in the woods. And to their surprise, they encounter the characters of “Camp Bloodbath” and realize they are in the film. Not sure what is going on, the group pretends to be camp counselors, knowing full well that in the film, a murderer named Billy is out for blood. But for Max, through the film, she feels finds herself coming across her mother, but as the character Nancy.
But when they watch the first murder scene, Duncan thinks that because they were not in the original film, there is no way that they can be hurt. But when he comes across Billy, he is killed.
Now, Max and friends must find a way to get out of the film but most of all, knowing that their lives are in danger as with the other cast members, they must be careful of Billy the murderer.
“The Final Girls” is presented in 1080p High Definition (2:40:1 aspect ratio). The film looks great on Blu-ray as close-ups feature great detail, one scene featuring flames don’t show any issues with banding and I didn’t notice any issues with macroblocking. For the most part, picture quality is solid.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“The Final Girls” is presented in English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish and Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital, The lossless soundtrack is primarily dialogue and music driven. There are action sequences that utilize the surround channels but there are also moments that utilize the ambiance of environments such as thunder.
Subtitles are in English SDH, Cantonese, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, French, Indonesian/Bahasa, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai
“The Final Girls” comes with the following special features:
- Deleted, Extended and Alternate Scenes– (21:40) Featuring nine deleted, extended and alternate scenes with optional director’s commentary
- Cast & Crew Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by director Todd Strauss-Schulson, Katie (production designer), Allie (DP), Thomas Middleditch, Angela Trimbur and Taissa Farmiga
- Writer’s Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller.
- Pre-Vis Animation – (32:32) View the pre-vis animation for the car crash, thater fire, campsite entrance, campsite spin and booby trap segments.
- Visual Effects Progression Reel – (2:26) A featurette on how the film was brought to life by utilizing CG to change scenes or to create certain aspects in the film.
- Director’s Production Notes – If viewed via a BD-rom drive, you can access the director’s production notes.
While parody of slasher films are nothing new, nor the storyline of one stuck in a film is nothing new, “The Final Girls” brings us something different and a film that is so much fun, as we watch characters who somehow get stuck in a horror slash film. And as expected, they become among the targets of the antagonist.
The film introduces us to mother and daughter and establishing Amanda Cartwright as an actress who is stereotyped and is unable to get jobs because of her previous role in a slasher film.
Unfortunately, mother is killed in a car accident and for daughter, three years later, she finds herself in a horror film tribute for her mother and as she watches her mother’s “Camp Bloodbath” films, a fire is started in the theater and through the chaos, she and her friends end up stuck in the film.
And now, they must interact with the characters of the film and prepare themselves against the killer antagonist, the masked Billy.
And what I enjoyed about “The Final Girls” is how it takes something that could have been another “Scary Movie” wannabe, the writing manages to create a captivating and hilarious comedy by having Max and friends telling the original movie characters of what happens in the original movie and how to avoid fate (but will it work?). Also, to develop the character of Max Cartwright, who gets to reunite with her mother (the character Nancy) in the film.
But like the original film, only one is able to defeat the big bad Billy, and with the original character being killed way too early…who will be able to defeat him?
And with the original “Camp Bloodbath” film having a sequel, will there be a sequel to “The Final Girls” in which the characters must relive being stuck in a film once again? I hope so!
As for the Blu-ray release, “The Final Girls” looks great on Blu-ray and the CG elements and the real elements co-exist amazingly well. Picture quality is very good and lossless audio features crystal clear dialogue and music and good use of surround channels for ambiance and the film’s action sequences.
The film also has its share of audio commentary tracks and also a few more special features included. If there was one thing that I wish Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has done for this release, and that was to have an UltraViolet HD code included with this movie release on Blu-ray.
Overall, “The Final Girls” is a film that no doubt has the potential to become a cult classic. It’s an enjoyable, hilarious slasher/comedy film that is done well and I really do hope there is sequel!
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