Review: Final Girl
On their way to critical greatness or public fame, or both, young actresses tend to find their way running and screaming through a forgettable horror movie. That’s where Abigail Breslin is now, the 19-year-old leading the way in a bloody revenge flick that offers little outside her performance.
Final Girl introduces Breslin, a teenage girl who for the last ten years or so has been recruited to train in combat, seduction, and survival, all so she can take down a ring of malicious boys who have been causing trouble. Why she needs to be groomed for so long, why these men can’t be tracked by the police or simply taken out instead of forced into an elaborate ploy are practical questions that would render the movie pointless.
These preppy young men, each one more stereotypical than the last, play a sinister game. They trick women into taking to their company, lead them to the desolate woods, and hunting them. All this is told to us, and not shown, thankfully, as Veronica is trained by some anonymous mentor played by Wes Bentley.
Veronica is brought up cold and emotionless, which is fitting for a film that lacks any feeling. These boys seem like dumb amateurs, their actions minimized by a film that can’t figure out who to evoke proper hatred and disdain. While Breslin impresses, her role is simple and straightforward: be the woman who takes down the men. That she needs to be trained by a man is curious, of course.
Training takes up the first half, while the second is mainly relegated to the forest, where Veronica shows off her deadly skills on these unsuspecting men. It’s dark and brooding, her red dress and blonde the only source of light. That’s clever enough, but little else stirs in the turgid Final Girl.