She Didn’t Start It, But She’ll Finish It

New in 2015 is the directorial debut of American film photographer Tyler Shields, a drama thriller entitled “Final Girl”.

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Wes Bentley
Wes Bentley

The film opens with a young girl being asked some questions by William (Wes Bentley – “American Beauty”, “The Hunger Games”). It’s clear that the girl’s parents have been killed and she demonstrates her ability to handle their deaths in a matter-of-fact way as well as her talent at solving puzzles. William tells her that his wife and daughter were also killed, and asks her if she’d like to go with him and he will teach her.

Abigail Breslin
Abigail Breslin

Moving swiftly a dozen years in time we find that the girl, Veronica (Abigail Breslin – “Maggie”, “Perfect Sisters”) is now a teenager being trained in how to survive a cold and wet forest and various methods of killing someone by William – presumably for some government organisation or something, though exactly who William is or why he chose Veronica is never revealed.

Alexander Ludwig
Alexander Ludwig

In a small American town, in a very stylish 1950s setting, Chris (Alexander Ludwig – “Vikings”, “When The Game Stands Tall”) leads a group of charismatic yet psychotic young men who have been inviting pretty blonde young women out at night and subsequently having their fun by hunting them down and killing them in a local forest.

William has set Veronica up to allow herself to be the next blonde to be invited out, and to make sure that they don’t continue…

final-girl-posterPresumably due at least in part to Shields’ background in photography this is a very stylish looking movie. The men all wear suits and ties and for the most part the women wear 50s style dresses, and the lighting used throughout is done very artfully.

The director has stated that “the idea behind “Final Girl” was no CGI, no fake effects. I wanted it to be as real as it could be. The fights are real, the cold was real and therefore, the performances are real” and there is indeed a sense of realism to be found here. However, as well as the aforementioned artfulness, I felt that there was also an echo of the surrealism reminiscent of “Twin Peaks” – aided no end by the hallucinations suffered as a result of the introduction of a cocktail of drugs administered to characters during the film.

As mentioned, there are things that are left completely unexplained, but this is a visual treat and a really good B-movie…

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