Oh the FINAL GIRL! An essential part of any horror film, but mostly known for the slasher variety. When people start dropping in horror films, we have got to have one girl that is the last person left standing. And out of the millions and millions of horror films that are out there I have complied a personal list of the 10 best.
10: Jennifer Ross (Elizabeth Cox) Intruder
Nobody ever talks about Jennifer from Intruder and that is a shame. Jennifer works at a grocery store that is about to be shut down and on the very same night she learns this info her ex is stalking her and people start ending up dead. Jennifer is lesser known than anyone else on this list, but Jennifer was a damn good “Final Girl”. And when things got messy she wasn’t afraid to get messy right back. That was of course after she was done running and hiding.
09: Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns) The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Sally goes through hell in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. And once it’s all over she probably was never the same mentally again. But she did survive and it is one of the most famous horror films you’ll ever find. So while she doesn’t really do much outside of make a very dramatic escape, you got to give this lady some credit.
08: Chris Higgins (Dana Kimmell) Friday the 13th part 3
I hate Friday the 13th part 3. I never cared at all for it and the 3D gave me a headache. Still, did dig the character of Chris. There’s nothing that really stands out about her per say, but she is very likeable. And likeable goes a long way, especially in a film where the more interesting characters die. Now had we have had a Friday the 13th where Vera was the last one standing, this list might have been a whole lot different.
07: Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) Alien
Some people just love Ripley. I myself have no issue with the character. I realize some would have her ranked much much higher up, but I just can’t do that. I can’t do that because Alien never really interested me that much. Now I’m willing to go back and give it another shot down the road, but for now Ripley will have to settle for just being happy she made the list.
06: Ginny Field (Amy Steel) Friday the 13th part 2
There are a lot of ladies that have come and gone in the Friday the 13th franchise. Ginny here was the second. Unlike the original “Final Girl” of the franchise she was smart enough never to return and risk death in future sequels. She was also smart enough to play into Jason’s mommy issues to outsmart him at the end of part 2.
05: Julie James (Jennifer Love Hewitt) I Know What You Did Last Summer
If this was a beauty contest, Julie James would win by default. But this isn’t one of those types of competitions. Instead, Julie deals with a person who has a nasty habit of using a fishhook to do some rather nasty things. If we ignore part three (and most do) and go by the old saying of “if we didn’t see it happen it never happened”, we could say Julie more or less survives two of these films. And she looks damn good while doing it.
04: Kirsty Cotton (Ashley Laurence) Hellraiser
Kirsty, Kirsty, Kirsty. What we have here is a girl who has a bad habit of playing with puzzle boxes. But she also has a good track record of delaying the certain death that comes with it. This is a girl that outsmarted some folks straight out of hell in three different Hellraiser films. And if memory serves me correctly, isn’t she the ONLY person who could claim victory over those damn cenobites?
03: Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) Halloween
If you were to look up the term “Final Girl”, Laurie from Halloween would have a picture right next to it. She is stalked by her crazed brother for Halloween 1 and 2. He returns to stalk her again in Halloween H20. We won’t even speak of Halloween Resurrection. Laurie pretty much does what the last girl in a horror movie usually does, she runs, she screams, and she more or less survives. But Laurie also didn’t really do any of the world until H20. Without Loomis she probably wouldn’t have made it out of the original Halloween.
02: Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) Scream
Sidney Prescott has horrible luck. Four times now she has had to deal with crazy people running around trying to gut her, all while wearing a Ghostface mask. But if nothing else, Sidney is a survivor. How many other “Final Girls” has the success rate of Sidney? Most end up dead if they are in the sequel. Sidney here has now survived four! Let’s hope she doesn’t keep pressing her luck.
01: Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) A Nightmare on Elm Street
It’s my personal opinion that while someone like Laurie Strode might be what the definition of the term “Final Girl” is, Nancy Thompson is what every “Final Girl” should be. In the face of danger, Nancy, didn’t just run and scream and wait for someone to save her. Nancy came up with plans and fought back against Freddy. She didn’t just luck up, she kicked his ass in the original Nightmare on Elm Street.