Film / Final Girl

Final Girl is a 2015 psychological thriller film directed by Tyler Shields starring Abigail Breslin, Alexander Ludwig and Wes Bently.

It tells the story a beautiful teen girl who is lured out to the woods by a group of senior boys to be the victim of their hunt. What the boys donít know is that she has been taught by her trainer William to be a lethal weapon; turning the hunters into the hunted with a level of perversity far beyond anything they could have ever imagined.

This film contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Veronica has trained most of her life in armed and unarmed combat. She is extremely good in either case.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: It is hard to pinpoint exactly when the movie is supposed to be set. The cars and the dresses the women wear all point out to The '50s, but the television in William and Veronicaís motel room is in color with a digital display and the guns they use are far more modern than that.
  • An Axe to Grind: Dannyís weapon of choice when killing girls is an axe. He has even named it.
  • Ax-Crazy: Danny is the most outwardly unstable member of the group. Once he is in the woods he loses all semblances of composure and sanity. Coincidentally enough, his weapon of choice is an axe.
  • Batter Up: Nelsonís weapon of choice to murder girls is a baseball bat.
  • Big Bad: Jameson, the leader of the male killers.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Veronica is not above drugging her marks beforehand so that they're easier to deal with.
  • Crusading Widower: The untimely death of his wife at the hands of a serial killer is what drives William to turn Veronica into a weapon against them.
  • Creepy Child: Veronica herself was this. She's completely blasé about her parents being murdered, and her response to William telling her about his own family's deaths is "Can I have ice cream?"
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Nelson may be part of a pack of teenage serial killers, but he is very close to his mother. Maybe a little too close.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Shane is really, legitimately in love with his girlfriend. They've been dating since they were fourteen. Veronica even comments that this is unusual, since she wouldn't expect any of the boys to care for any woman enough to maintain a relationship. As it turns out, though, he doesn't love her enough not to try to kill her when she finds out what the boys really do in the woods. Lucky for her, he's hallucinating and is actually strangling Veronica, which has predictable results for him.
  • Evil Is Bigger: Jameson, played by Alexander Ludwig, is 6'2". Compare with Veronica, who is played by Abigail Breslin, who is 5'1".
  • Final Girl: The point of the movie is to train a young woman since childhood to become one of these.
  • Has a Type: Jameson has a thing for blondes. Thatís why he always chooses them as victims.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Danny is killed with his own axe.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The boy's method of killing involves inviting girls out on a date to the woods and then hunting them down. Of course this time The Hunters Become The Hunted.
  • Hurricane of Puns: While they are all in the car, Danny sets off one of these when he says he will introduce Veronica to his friend Annabelle (his axe) which causes the boys to crack up laughing:
    Danny: You are going to love my friend AnnabelleÖ sheís to die for.
    Veronica: I canít wait to meet her.
    Jameson: Sheís great but she can get under your skin.
    Nelson: She can be a little edgy at times.
    Shane: Sheís to the point.
    Jameson: Sharp.
  • I Call It "Vera": Danny has named the axe he uses for the murders ďAnnabelleĒ.
  • Ironic Echo: At the beginning of the hunt, Jameson asks Veronica if he's religious, and when she says no tells her that if she was going to die, she'd probably ask God for help. At the end, when she has him strung up and about to be hanged, Veronica asks him the same questions, and says she bets he's going to beg.
  • Incest Subtext: Nelsonís and his mother look and behave more like a married couple than mother and son during dinner. Right before Veronica kills him, he hallucinates himself making out with his mother.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Veronica spends most of the film in a dress of some kind or other, and wears a gorgeous red cocktail dress in the woods, as shown on a poster.
  • Mugging the Monster: The killers obviously had no idea the girl they marked as their latest victim was a professional Final Girl and Serial-Killer Killer.
  • Mushroom Samba: The drug cocktail that William uses for Veronicaís final test and which she later gives to the boys is one part Sodium Pentothal and one part DMT so it produces powerful and vivid hallucinations.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Veronica plays the part of a terrified Damsel in Distress so well the boys donít figure out the truth until itís too late. Jameson eventually catches on.
  • One Head Taller: Veronica wears heels during most of the movie, but they barely mask the fact that Jameson is over a foot taller than her.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: The boys donít rape their victims because women canít run very well after a sexual assault, which would spoil their hunt.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Danny spends the whole movie behaving liked a spoiled 6 year old and it only gets worse the closer they get to killing someone. When the drug Veronica gave him kicks in his hallucination takes the form of panda bears in tuxedos.
  • Robbing the Dead: After she kills Danny, Veronica takes his boots so she doesnít have to run around the woods barefoot.
  • Serial Killer: Veronica goes after a group of four friends that have killed over a dozen young women, that William knows of. Jameson later admits that it was actually 20 girls.
  • Serial-Killer Killer: Veronica is specifically raised to ruthlessly hunt down serial killers.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: The boys always wear impeccable black suits and put on tuxedos when hunting the girls in the woods.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Veronica gives the boys a flask of booze that she has spiked with the drug cocktail that William tried on her earlier in the movie. She does this to level the playing field.
  • The Sociopath: William describes all four boys as sociopaths, and Jameson later indirectly expresses the same opinion in Shaneís hallucination.
  • Tyke Bomb: William raised Veronica for the sole purpose of becoming a weapon to destroy serial killers.
  • Wife Husbandry: Unintentionally on William's part, but by the time Veronica is 18 years old, she is romantically interested in him.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Veronica asks early on why she canít just shoot the boys. William tells her that a gun might run out of bullets or jam so she needs to learn to kill without them.
  • Worthy Opponent: Jameson becomes deeply impressed by the way Veronica killed all his friends.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Veronica smears her face with blood and breaks her own nose to look like sheís been beaten within an inch of her life by the boys she already killed, so that Jameson will underestimate her. It doesnít work because he sees her do it.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Shaneís worst fear is that his girlfriend Jennifer will cheat on him with Jameson and that he will eventually kill her. It turns out to be justified.
  • Your Worst Nightmare: What Williamís drug causes people to hallucinate their worst fear.