logo
g Text Version
Beauty & Self
Books & Music
Career
Computers
Education
Family
Food & Wine
Health & Fitness
Hobbies & Crafts
Home & Garden
Money
News & Politics
Relationships
Religion & Spirituality
Sports
Travel & Culture
TV & Movies

dailyclick
Bored? Games!
Nutrition
Postcards
Take a Quiz
Rate My Photo

new
European Travel
Action Movies
Bible Basics
Houseplants
Romance Movies
Creativity
Family Travel


dailyclick
All times in EST

Autism Spectrum Disorders: 4:00 PM

Full Schedule
g
g Horror Movies Site

BellaOnline's Horror Movies Editor

g

The Final Girl in Horror Film


One of the more important and groundbreaking accounts of the horror film from a feminist perspective is in Carol Clover's Men, Women, and Chainsaw (Princeton 1992). One of the book's major points concerns the structural positioning of what she calls The Final Girl in relation to viewers. While most theorists label the horror film as a male-driven and centred genre, Clover points out that in most horror films, particularly in the slasher sub-genre, the audience, both male and female, is 'forced' to identify with the resourceful young female (The Final Girl) who survives the serial killer and usually ends the threat. So, while the narrative dominant killer's subjective point of view may be male within the narrative, the male viewer is still rooting for the Final Girl to overcome the killer. We can see The Final Girl archetypically in Halloween (Jamie Lee Curtis, 1978), Friday the 13th (Adrienne King, 1980), Eyes of a Stranger (Jennifer Jason Leigh, 1981), A Nightmare on Elm Street (Heather Langenkamp, 1984), and Scream (Neve Campbell, 1996).

So, who is the final girl, and how does she, in the stories narrative, and in the audiences mind, become the final girl?

According to Clover, the final girl is typically sexually unavailable or virginal, avoiding the vices of the victims and her friends/peers (sex, drink, drug use, etc.) She sometimes has a unisex name (e.g., Teddy, Sydney, Kim, Ripley). Occasionally, the Final Girl will have a shared history with the killer such as Laurie Strode finding out she is the sister of Michael Myers in Halloween, or Nancy Thompson finding out she is being attacked by Freddy Krueger because her parents helped kill him in A Nightmare on Elm Street.

The final girl is the "investigating consciousness" of the film, moving the narrative forward and as such, she exhibits intelligence, curiosity, and vigilance; it is Laurie Strode that first senses something is wrong in ‘Halloween’ and therefore stays more vigilante. The Final Girl will also be first to point out a moral falling, or obligation that she and her friends/peers have committed. For example, Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt) is the first to demand that her and her friends go to the police after their hit and run in ‘I know what you did last Summer.’ If the final girl is involved in a crime of some sort, or unbeknownst to them at the time, the upset of an individual, they feel extreme remorse for the act, such as Jamie Lee Curtis as Alana Maxwell in ‘Terror Train’ (1980).

Carol J. Clover in her book Men, Women and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film (you can buy this brilliant read at the link below.) Clover suggests that in these horror films, the audience begins by sharing the perspective of the killer, for example, at the start of ‘Halloween’ we as an audience are literally seeing things from, the killers, Michael Myers perspective, as the camera does a point of view shot as he murders his older sister, Judith. The film/s experiences a shift in identification to the final girl halfway through the film; for example, at the end of ‘Halloween’ we as an audience are placed in Laurie Strode’s shoes as she tries to better the killer, survive, and kill him. Clover believes that male viewers of these films are literally crossing gender lines to identify with The Final Girl and root her on in a sort of sadomasochistic view against their own masculinity.

More on THE FINAL GIRL next week:








Add The+Final+Girl+in+Horror+Film to Twitter Add The+Final+Girl+in+Horror+Film to Facebook Add The+Final+Girl+in+Horror+Film to MySpace Add The+Final+Girl+in+Horror+Film to Del.icio.us Digg The+Final+Girl+in+Horror+Film Add The+Final+Girl+in+Horror+Film to Yahoo My Web Add The+Final+Girl+in+Horror+Film to Google Bookmarks Add The+Final+Girl+in+Horror+Film to Stumbleupon Add The+Final+Girl+in+Horror+Film to Reddit




SLASHER MOVIE RULES
JAMIE LEE CURTIS (SCREAM QUEEN)
WOMEN PORTRAYED IN HORROR
RSS
Related Articles
Editor's Picks Articles
Top Ten Articles
Previous Features
Site Map


For FREE email updates, subscribe to the Horror Movies Newsletter


Past Issues


print
Printer Friendly
bookmark
Bookmark
tell friend
Tell a Friend
forum
Forum
email
Email Editor


Content copyright © 2014 by Steven Casey Murray. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Steven Casey Murray. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Steven Casey Murray for details.

g


g features
The Evil Dead (2013)

Hitchcock Film Review

Paranormal Activity 4 Movie Review

Archives | Site Map

forum
Forum
email
Contact

Past Issues
memberscenter


vote
Poetry
Daily
Weekly
Monthly
Less than Monthly



BellaOnline on Facebook
g


| About BellaOnline | Privacy Policy | Advertising | Become an Editor |
Website copyright © 2014 Minerva WebWorks LLC. All rights reserved.


BellaOnline Editor