The Final Girl Trope

That one poor girl in a horror film who has seen it all.

The final girl trope is a common horror plot archetype.

Den of Geek

The final girl trope is a common horror plot archetype.

Amanda Mourelo, Editor of Student Opinion and Features and Extras

The term “final girl” was first introduced by author Carol J. Clover describes a woman survivor or a heroine that is young, has all her friends and family killed, and remains innocent and pure and can assert herself above  the main villain. The girl is the protagonist of the movie because she is doubted the whole time by the other characters, who call her misogynistic names for her embodiment of stereotypical attitudes of a submissive and pure woman but then she defeats the characters including the bad guy.

A PhD student in the Ohio State University English program notes that the final girl is always put through traumatic situations and then has to win against the bad guy. She then becomes interested in what happens to the antagonist at the end of the movie, continuing the cycle in the next installment.

One of the most prominent and popular examples of a final girl is Laurie Strode in “Halloween” (1978), played by Jamie Lee Curtis. Strode fits the mold of a final girl perfectly; at the end of “Halloween,” she stabbed Michael Myers with a knitting needle and a coat hanger, defeating him but not killing him because Michael Myers is immortal until the most recent film from the Halloween franchise, “Halloween Ends,” where he truly dies. In “Midsommar” (2019), Dani Ardor, played by Florence Pugh, traveled with her boyfriend to a Swedish village festival. The festival turns out to be a disturbing and gruesome trip for the couple. Ardor’s boyfriend dies as she smiles in horror like the final girl she is.

There are so many iconic horror, thriller, and slasher movies that have a final girl. In fact, there are movies “The Final Girls” (2015) and “Final Girl” (2015) that are literally based on a final girl character. They are pretty awesome. Think about this article and pay close attention to the plot to see if there is a final girl in the next horror movie watched.