So if you’ve been checking into various writings on feminist horror, you’ve probably seen the phrase “final girl” pop up a lot. If you want to know more about it, but are too lazy (no judgement) to read Men, Women, and Chainsaws, you are in luck! I have prepared a little summary just for you, missy.
Since 1992’s Men, Women and Chainsaws, the “Final Girl” has been the go-to topic when it comes to discussing feminism in the American slasher film. Thankfully, I rarely get tired of it.
Check it out:
The Final Girl versus Wes Craven’s A Nightmare on Elm Street:
Proposing a Stronger Model of Feminism in Slasher
Horror Cinema by Kyle Christensen
A straightforward show-down between Laurie Strode and Nancy Thompson by Christensen using the iconic Final Girl archetype (from Men, Women and Chainsaws by Carol J. Clover) as the winning title. Basically, he argues that Nancy is the true feminist Final Girl and Laurie is not. While I agree that Nancy is indeed badass, I disagree with Christensen’s black-and-white judgment of Laurie Strode. She’s younger in age and nature than Nancy, and Nancy isn’t exactly getting naked and high either. Also, while it’s true that Laurie does not kill her villain, give the kid a break — she manages to fight him off quite well and avoid being murdered; which is more than most anyone else who encounters him can say.