On the anniversary of her mother's tragic death three years before, Max (Taissa Farmiga, American Horror Story) begrudgingly attends a special showing of Camp Bloodbath, her actress mom's one and only movie hit, as a favor to her best friend Gertie's (Alia Shawkat, Arrested Development) step-brother, Duncan (Thomas Middleditch, Silicon Valley), who manages the theater and is also the movie's number one fanboy. Tagging along are Max's crush, Chris (Alexander Ludwig, The Hunger Games) and his ex-girlfriend and Max's former best friend, Vicki (Nina Dobrev, The Vampire Diaries), along with Gertie and Duncan. During the movie, some crazy stuff happens and in an attempt to run for their lives, the group somehow finds themselves transported into the movie and along for the bloody and dangerous ride.
Max is in shock, as she suddenly finds herself thrust into an amazing situation - the opportunity to spend time with the mother she lost, only at a much younger age and completely unaware that she is in a movie. Instead of actress Amanda Cartwright (Malin Akerman), she is Nancy, the pretty, shy girl with the guitar. Aside from Nancy, the "movie" cast is filled with the stereotypical assortment of teen characters that filled most slasher films of the 80's, like Kurt (Adam Devine), the dumb jock who wants to sleep with all of the girls; Tina (Angela Trimbur), the slutty girl; Blake (Tory N. Thompson), the cool guy; and finally Paula (Chloe Bridges), the badass "final girl" who is supposed to kill Billy Murphy (Dan B. Norris), the machete-wielding psycho killer. The newcomers include Chris, Max's sweet potential boyfriend; Vicki, the mean girl; Gertie, the quiet, smart-ass; and Duncan, the goofball. Then there's Max, the pensive, clever survivor. Will they make it? At least Duncan knows exactly how the movie is supposed to play out, since he's such a big fan. Unfortunately, things don't go as planned and the group must improvise.
As the newly meshed group of camp counselors and movie interlopers work together to try to avoid inevitable death, Max gets the chance to hang out with her mom and wants more than anything for her to survive the movie, but truly, no one knows how to escape this nightmare and whether any of them will ever make it back to their normal lives again.
Any fan of 80's slasher movies will really enjoy this film, since it pays glorious tribute to the genre. Whether it's the scary music and sound effects that play as soon as a teen starts disrobing, the insane un-killable killer, or the ridiculous stereotypes on full parade here, there's something to love. Personally, while I am not a fan of 80's slasher films, I do love a good meta story and this film reminded me a bit of Tucker & Dale vs. Evil with its heavy doses of humor.
Special features included deleted, extended and alternate scenes, which were interesting, plus cast/crew and writers' commentary. There's also previz on some of the major scenes, along with a visual effects featurette, and the Director's Production Notes that you can download to your computer, but aren't viewable on the disc like a standard feature. However, these are probably more of interest to someone who wants to go into filmmaking, rather than the typical viewer.
Overall, I really enjoyed The Final Girls. It's got lots of comedy, loads of hilarious nods to the films of the 80's, and a fun cast that will have you rooting for their survival. Even if you don't like slasher flicks, this movie is enjoyable. It's definitely not gory, even though there are plenty of deaths, and it has a great storyline. Bonus for me is that it was filmed in my hometown of Baton Rouge, so I was familiar with locations like Frostop Burgers and the Varsity Theater. If you have even a passing interest, you should check out The Final Girls.