Monday, April 18, 2016

Final Girl (2015)

Number Rolled: 92
Movie Name/Year: Final Girl (2015)
Tagline: The hunted becomes the hunter.
Genre: Horror
Length: 84 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: NGN Productions, Prospect Park, Final Girl Productions
Producer: Kim Breslin, Rob Carliner, Tara Cowell-Plain, Jeffrey Donnelly, Dureyshevar, Dion York Foley, Jeff Kwatinetz, Jack Nasser, Jacob Nasser, Joseph Nasser, Marco Torres
Director: Tyler Shields
Writer: Adam Prince, Stephen Scarlata, Alejandro Seri, Johnny Silver
Actors: Abigail Breslin, Wes Bentley, Logan Huffman, Cameron Bright, Alexander Ludwig, Reece Thompson, Francesca Eastwood, Emma Paetz, Gracyn Shinyei, Desiree Zurowski, Sean Tyson, Brett London

Blurb from Netflix: A group of sociopaths that’s been killing girls in the woods for sport sets its sights on a teen who turns out to be a trained assassin.

Selina’s Point of View:
When we rolled this film, I thought it was a different movie. I thought we’d rolled The Final Girls (2015) which is a different movie from the same year, with a very similar name also starring Alexander Ludwig (Lone Survivor, The Hunger Games, Race to Witch Mountain). I don’t feel so bad being confused about it because… seriously… wtf?

Anyway, The Final Girls isn’t even on Netflix, but Final Girl was on my “want to see” list anyway.

I don’t understand the reviews this film got. Critics and audiences hated it. I just didn’t. I didn’t love it, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I’ll be the first to admit that there wasn’t any significant depth in it and there wasn’t much of a point to it, but it wasn’t made to be that kind of film. It hasn’t got its hands out begging for an Oscar. It’s along the lines of torture porn, but it’s more like revenge porn, I guess. Saw (2004) was nothing but torture porn and that movie was fine.

It’s not for everyone, but I enjoyed it. I thought the characters were interesting and I saw all kinds of influences from other works such as American Psycho (2000) and Donnie Darko (2001) in the way the actors portrayed their characters.

The scenes were beautiful as well. At times the director might have put more effort into the beauty of the shot than he did into anything else, but that beauty was worth it.

I don’t think I’d have been disappointed if I had seen this in theaters.

Cat’s Point of View:
This movie should not be confused with the similarly titled The Final Girls (2015), which also features Alexander Ludwig (The Seeker: The Dark is Rising, Vikings, Blackway). It seems to be a coincidence of timing that these movies were released in the same year. IMDb shows that Abigail Breslin (No Reservations, Rango, Maggie) was 16 at the time she filmed this; which would put the production year at 2012.

Moving on!

I really enjoyed this movie – from the nod to vintage slasher films in the movie’s title, to the female heroine, all the way through the concept of a living embodiment of karma.

One of my favorite characters in the film was “Danny Boy,” played by Logan Huffman (Refuge, Underdogs, Complicity). His character was completely unhinged and provided a bit of comedic relief (albeit dark humor). I was very impressed to learn that he improvised quite a bit of his performance. Further, a small, yet important, scene for his character in which he’s getting ready for ‘the big night’ was entirely his idea. This kid is going places.

This movie left me with lots of questions – and that’s a good thing. I was into it enough that I wondered about the story behind the story. Was Wes Bentley’s (There Be Dragons, Amnesiac, We Are Your Friends) character part of some larger organization? If not, it would suggest that there is a bit of a plot hole in time discrepancy – but I’d like to believe that this was part of something bigger. I didn’t even question that potential fudge until I was watching the credits roll.

I loved the woods settings with the ambient lighting in such a fashion that it provided crazy good profile shots with some of the scenes. It helped set the tone in the latter half of the movie.

There was only one element that distracted me from getting fully immersed in the story. Through most of the movie it was raining – and no one seemed to get wet! Sure it’s an aesthetics thing – but it’s the kind of little detail that just randomly gets under my skin. I would have enjoyed it more, and scored it higher had that not been the case.

Be wary of watching the trailer for this movie. It really seems to give away quite a bit that I think most watching this film would want to discover on their own as the story unfolds. 

I’d definitely recommend this film to horror fans who are in the mood for a good story and not as much gore as your typical slasher.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 27%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 22%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 3.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 3/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

Movie Trailer:

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