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Final Girl’s in Horror :: Top 25 :: October’s Spooky Monday Movies

What is a final girl? Well, according to Carol Clover’s 1992 book Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film, argues that although slasher movies seem to delight in the sadistic torment of female victims, they are actually providing the audience a point of identification with the last woman standing, which Clover identified as the “Final Girl.” Since this is the spooky month of October around here I thought I’d give over “Movie Mondays” to celebrate the best of the “Final Girls” in horror. Each Monday in October (yes, I know it is technically September still, but this is October week) I will present five of some of my favorite “Final Girls” of horror films.

25. Natalie Simon, Urban Legend (1998)

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Natalie Simon, played by Alicia Witt, is the main character of the film Urban Legend, and is the Final Girl. Natalie delivers the final shot to the female killer, though whether that final shot is fatal is a spoiler I am not going to reveal. Natalie is not only the final survivor, but she is also the audience’s point of identification, and view, throughout the film.

24. Erin Harson, You’re Next (2011)

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Erin Harson, played by Sharni Varson, is the survivalist Final Girl of You’re Next. Erin was raised on an Australian survivalist compound, is good with an axe, mached and other household found makeshift weapons. She is the Final Girl you’d want with you if you suddenly woke up in a horror movie.

23. Suzy Bannion, Suspiria (1977)

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Dario Argento’s classic Italian horror Suspiria kicks off our list with our next Final Girl Suzy Bannion, an American ballet student, enrolling in a prestigious German dance academy. Strange things are afoot at the academy, and Suzy is the last dancer standing when everything goes to Hell. This is no Black Swan, though, Suzy is fierce and able to defend herself from witches, and a best friend turned enemy.

22. Sarah Carter, The Descent (2005)

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Sarah Carter, played by Shauna Macdonald, is the main protagonist of The Descent series, and one of the six women who descended into the Appalachian Cave System and were pitted against cannibalistic monsters known later as “The Crawlers“, who Sarah survives in the first film. She is the point of audience identification, and her weapon of choice is a pickaxe.

21. Francine Parker, Dawn of the Dead (1978)

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Though in the original cut of the film our Final Girl from 1978’s Dawn of the Dead took her own life, it is in the final cut that Francine Parker, played by Gaylen Ross, does become our Final Girl, taking flight to escape the zombie overrun mall. During her whole battle to survive she is also quite pregnant.

Who is your favorite of the five above? Do you have a favorite you are hoping will be featured next?

3 thoughts on “Final Girls in Horror :: Top 25 :: 25-21 :: October’s Spooky Monday Movies (well, its ALMOST October)

  1. I loved You’re Next, it was hilarious while being gross & a little bit scary I’m big into horror & dark comedy when they’re done right. So I’ll pick Erin as my favorite from the group above.

    1. Great choice! Urban Legend is great for OD’ing on the 90’s, especially with the cast, but I like Erin the best, too…though I do have a soft spot for The Descent, for some reason…

      1. Urban Legends is excellent for that. Oh-so-90s! I didn’t pick apart movies as much as I do now, I’d just watch them and love them back then. And I admit I thought Tara Reid was an awesome up and coming actor at the time & loved her spiked collar in the movie. Guess I was wrong.
        The Descent was one of the few mid-2000’s horror movies to scare the total shit out of me through & through…there’s a lot to think about in that one too dealing with friendship, sisterhood, betrayal, trust…all in this unbelievably terrifying setting.

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