"The Final Girls" embraces an undeniable love for the slasher genre while innovatively subverting conventions. Similar to the approach of 1996's "Scream" while going in an entirely new direction, the film's meta-savvy approach blurs the line between fiction and reality while nonetheless confronting the truths of the characters with heartfelt affection. It's a daffy comedy, and a horror movie, but it's also more than that. Director Todd Strauss-Schulson (2011's "A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas") and screenwriters Joshua John Miller and M.A. Fortin have attracted an outstanding cast, and it's plain to see how. This is one of the most giddily original, surprisingly imagined pictures of the year.
Three years ago, teenager Max (Taissa Farmiga) lost her mom, former horror actress Amanda Cartwright (Malin Akerman), in a terrible auto accident. Now, on the anniversary of her death, Amanda's claim to fame, 1986's "Camp Bloodbath," is being shown theatrically on a double-bill with "Camp Bloodbath 2: Cruel Summer." Max hesitantly decides to join her friends for the showing as a way of commemorating her mom, but when a freak fire breaks out in the auditorium, their desperate exit through a tear in the screen sends them directly into the movie. Stuck in a 92-minute loop, Max and her pals—sensible best friend Gertie (Alia Shawkat) and her geeky brother Duncan (Thomas Middleditch), hunky nice-guy Chris (Alexander Ludwig), and Max's snotty ex-BFF Vicki (Nina Dobrev)—have but one means of escaping to the end credits: abide by the strict rules of slasher cinema and pose as (chaste) Camp Blue Finch counselors alongside the film's libidinous victims-to-be. For Max, this means coming face to face with her mother's ill-fated onscreen alter-ego, Nancy.
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review