Final Girl (2015)…Stylish to a Fault but Seriously Lacking in Substance

Sigh…How I wanted to love this movie…

The familiar story of a young woman named Veronica (Breslin) who, as a child, is recruited into a nameless, covert agency by a calculated man named William (Wes Bentley, who I forever think of as the plastic bag boner boy from American Beauty) and trained to be an assassin…of sorts. At the completion of her training, Veronica is assigned to take down a quartet of dapper but psychotic youths who have been hunting young women for sport. Although why a cloak and dagger network of assassins would go after a group of small town killers is beyond me, still, I suspend my disbelief for now.

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The agency in question seems to consist of no one but Bentley and Breslin and at no time is an explanation offered as to the how or why of the agency’s existence, but the student/teacher relationship between them is one of the few things that really work in this flick, so it’s a serious bummer that the two have very little shared screen time. The few minutes we do see them together though are delightful and hint at the missed opportunity of a much more interesting movie…oh well.

I must admit I have a soft spot for Abigail Breslin who, despite a few questionable film choices over the years, has always had a great screen presence (fyi if you haven’t seen Maggie, do so ASAP), but unfortunately Final Girl is not one her better movies. It also really doesn’t help that the entire movie is laid out in the trailer (hate that), leaving very little room for surprises.

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And a surprise or two would have definitely been welcome in this formulaic attempted rip-off of La Femme Nikita (I’m talking about the phenomenal 1990 French action thriller not the lame tv shows). Also, a plot may have been helpful as well…a fully realized plot in not always a necessity for an enjoyable film, but when there’s so very little else to work with, it would have been helpful. Seriously, am I the only one who likes an explanation…and a point?

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Still, although there may be a lot lacking in Final Girl, the film is styled beautifully with a minimalist but dreamy 50’s feel to it that is just gorgeous to look at despite its sparseness. The lighting is mostly spotlights, giving the whole a theater like quality as director Tyler Shields unabashedly frames each scene in a harsh, round white light, and although the brightness showcases Breslin’s youthful beauty, milk white skin and beautiful (electric) blue eyes, it also unfortunately serves to highlight how flawed the film really is.

With a talented young cast which also includes Alexander Ludwig (a former child actor who is making a decent career out of convincingly playing a handsome asshole), Cameron Bright, Logan Huffman (a total standout here with a charmingly unhinged performance) and Reece Thompson, Final Girl could have been so much better. Although I can’t rightly call the movie terrible, I can honestly say that it is glaringly incomplete, almost as if the development of scrip and characters halted at the idea stage and never moved forward from there.

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Like I said, I really did want to love this movie, and I’m sure if it had developed into the edgy film it wanted to be, it would have been a hell of a cinematic ride. As it stand though, despite endless possibilities, Final Girl is not much more than a somewhat entertaining bit of pretty fluff, nice to look at, but in the end, this girl is easy enough to pass up.

Let me know what you thought of this 50’s thriller horror fans, and if you enjoyed the review be a bloody peach and click that Like button 😉

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