There are three reasons to watch The Final Girls, not to be confused with The Final Girl also featuring Alexander Ludwig who’s probably having a heck of a time convincing people he’s in two separate movies this year. The Final Girl, singular, basically has no reasons to watch it. But then there are all the reasons not to watch The Final Girls, plural. Most of them have to do with writing that can’t sustain it beyond a clever premise as a send-up of slasher flicks. This has been a cottage industry since, oh, about 1981, starting with Student Bodies and going all the way up to the brilliant Cabin in the Woods. But as any of those other movies know, one of the worst ways to lampoon a slasher film is by having to play it safe. But Final Girls is conspicuously PG-13 with the way it assiduously avoids gore, nudity, and more than one occurrence of the F-word. The F-word is near the end and it’s pretty awful. “You fucked with the wrong virgin,” our final Final Girl growls weakly.
The reasons to watch The Final Girls are Thomas Middleditch, Adam DeVine, and Angela Trimbur, all of whom are relegated to minor roles playing facile stereotypes, and all of whom knock it out of the park with comedic timing, admirable commitment, and more energy than this script deserves. Angela Trimbur’s fantastic striptease-on-Adderall dance routine is worth the price of admission. Just fast forward to that part. Or wait until it’s on YouTube. Better yet, watch the comedienne’s joyous Youtube videos. Start with this one. Three millions views can’t be wrong. At least on YouTube her dancing isn’t interrupted by a forgettable movie in which less capable actors like Taissa Farmiga and Malin Ackerman carry what I think is supposed to be emotional gravitas. I can’t really tell since they’re both so, well, mild. The heartfelt moments drag ponderously. Their eyes well up with tears. They look at each other. They smile sadly. The moment drags on. I think there’s dialogue here, but it’s hard not to lose interest. Oh, hey, would you believe the movie ends with Taissa Farmiga doing wirework? And can someone please do something with her hair? She’s a dead ringer for her beautiful sister Vera, but plopping a dishwater blonde mop on her head doesn’t do her any favors.