The “Final Girls” make the best horror movie heroes

Horror movies often feature a “last girl,” a female character who survives until the end of the movie when most, if not all, of the other characters do not. Stephen graham jones, author of My heart is a chainsaw, is a huge fan of The Girl’s Latest Trope.

“The last girl is to the slasher what the silver bullet is to the werewolf, like daylight is to the vampire, like a headshot is to the zombie,” Jones says in episode 482 of the film. Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy Podcast. “They are nature’s antidote to this cycle of violence.”

Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy host David Barr Kirtley says final girls tap into our natural tendency to root for the underdog. “It’s more of an accomplishment for a young woman to defeat the villain than if she is a seasoned, buff soldier,” he said. “It’s not that much of a challenge for a character like that.”

Grady hendrix, author of The final support group for girls, says the defining characteristic of final girls is toughness. “They keep trying things, they don’t give up,” he says. “Laurie Strode [in Halloween] is not very strong or very fast, Ginny in Friday the 13th Part 2 is not particularly powerful. They keep trying, they don’t stop.

The final girls often appear in movies, but until recently the trope was less common in books. Horror writer Therese De Lucci says a new generation of writers are now exploring the idea of ​​final girls in more depth. “I think the trend in the girls’ final fiction has been to look less at them from the outside, and more to look at how they feel, and the trauma, and the impact of the trauma on their lives, from their own point of view. of view, ”she said. “And that’s how it gives her fresh air again, especially this summer.”

Listen to the full interview with Stephen Graham Jones, Grady Hendrix and Theresa DeLucci in episode 482 of Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy (above). And check out some highlights from the discussion below.

Stephen Graham Jones on Scream:

“I was in graduate school in Florida, and the deal I made with myself to go to graduate school was that I could only go if I wrote all the time – I didn’t didn’t have a chance to socialize or go out or anything. During the winter vacation of 1996, there was a knock on my door. There’s a friend who says, ‘Hey let’s go to the movies.’ I gave him the usual excuse. I said, ‘Hey man, I’m writing a story. Sorry.’ And he kept arguing with me, and eventually it got easier to go see that stupid movie with him than to argue with him. So I went, and it was Scream, and I just felt my brain rewire, like all the homework I’ve done my whole life is suddenly worth it. And I was there the next six nights, watching this movie again, and I’ve been living it ever since – reading about it, writing about it, watching it over and over again.

Theresa DeLucci on Women in Horror:

“One of the most uncomfortable experiences of my life was going to a horror convention where Ruggero Deodato was the guest of honor and Leprechaun was playing. They showed House at the edge of the park, Fulci, Cannibal holocaust, all these things. I was the only woman out of 100 viewers, and in the third movie with the fifth rape scene as the fifth scene, I got up and left. I took the keys from my boyfriend and I was like, ‘I can’t take any more. I can not. I went home and sat in a dark room and felt a bit nauseous all day. I’m like ‘These movies are not for me.’ And I think there’s more of a trend now in movies – and we see it in fiction too – where the sexualization of a female corpse, from the start, is no longer the trend.

Grady Hendrix on death:

“Death is ultimately the masked, nameless, faceless killer with an unusual weapon – a scythe – that is coming for all of us. Death is the great equalizer. It’s one of the things I love about slasher movies, like Friday the 13th Part 2. Jason Kills you if you’re a badass in a gang, he kills you if you’re a good girl, he kills you if you’re a snob, he kills you if you’re a jerk. Watching douchebags, male or female, getting it from Jason, watching tough guys in gangs, male or female, threatening other people to get it from Jason, that never gets old. Death takes everyone on an ankle. It doesn’t matter how big your collar is, how many motorcycles you ride, or how big your mohawk is, Jason will hit you in the head.

Grady Hendrix on The final support group for girls:

“When I was a kid and wasn’t allowed to see R-rated movies, I would read about them and pretend I had seen them, because I didn’t want people to know that I was a loser who couldn’t see R- rated movies. When I was 8 years old, I managed to trick someone into buying me a copy of Fangoria # 12 of April 81, which had Friday the 13th Part 2 on the cover. The big twist at the start of Part 2 is that Alice Hardy, the last girl in Part 1, played by Adrienne King, appears to be the star of Part 2 and then gets knocked down 10 minutes later. She spends this normal night, she is recovering from her trauma of the first part, then Jason just plucked her in the head. I vividly remember being blown away by the casual cruelty. … I think part of it was because I identified with her for some reason, and I didn’t want her to die, because it was like I was dying. And that’s really where the book comes from.

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