For as long as there have been slasher villains there have been “Final Girls” to defeat them. The last surviving protagonist who is able to finally fight back. We love the tropes as much as we laugh at them: always female, no sex, doesn’t do drugs, etc. There have been papers written and countless hours of podcasts dedicated to discussing where it all comes from, but regardless of its origins, the Final Girl trope has lead to the creation of some memorable female protagonists. Let’s celebrate some!
Part of our Best of 2020 episode.
Sure, Kirsty may not follow the standard slasher timeline of being part of a group of college friends that are slowly whittled down one by one, but she did survive being attacked by her uncle wearing her dad’s skin which has to count for something. By mastering the puzzle box and playing Pinhead against her murderous uncle, Kirsty more than earns her spot on the list.
Whenever I meditate, I take myself to Crystal Lake and envision myself on the boat. Alice was so peaceful after surviving Jason’s Mom’s killing spree. She is the type of final girl who tries to save her friends from drowning, even if it’s a prank. Nothing says Final Girl like beheading the killer with a machete.
One of earliest examples of the trope and definitely the earliest on this list, Sally lacks the “badass” moment of the final girls that would follow. However her victory is that of pure survival – mentally and physically surviving the ordeal of running into Leatherface and family. She may not have had a climactic chainsaw battle or any witty one-liners, but she sure as hell made it farther than any of us would have.
She is a girl who survives not only the child murderer who haunts children’s dreams, but her parents attempt to hide the truth from her. She is inventive in her attempts to not sleep and is responsible for crafting a plan to stop the monster.
Introduced as a Warrant Officer, this Final Girl outlived her higher ranking shipmates and did her best to achieve the final blow on an unknown, unkillable entity. She proved herself strong and sensible throughout the voyage. You belong at the top of this list when you literally save the cat.