Monday, August 10, 2009

My Least Favorite Final Girls

I grew up watching the Halloweens and Elm Streets, but never paid much attention to the Final Girl, our female lead, the last chick standing. I was interested in Freddy, not Nancy or Kristen or Alice. It was only after the release of Scream and the resurrection of the (teen) horror genre that I became aware of the 'Final Girl' principle and began rooting for her.

However, there are a few Final Girls I just cannot stand. I was rooting for the killer to you know, kill her. I'm going to present you with my top 3 least favorite Final Girls. Problem here is that I'm not entirely sure it's the characters I hate or the actresses portraying them. I dug up my old (unpublished on this site) reviews and I'm mostly hating on the actresses and their awfulness. I will post these snippets for your my entertainment.

Please note that this blog is written from a Young Hollywood (circa 1997-2003) viewpoint. I miss those days when Freddie Prinze Jr. was in every other release, the American Pie cast was a breath of fresh air and Scarlett J. wasn't overexposed yet, but I digress. Therefore I'm going for post-Scream teen horror Final Girls and not from more obscure flicks. But feel free to post your own 'favorites' from any horror movie in the comment section.

3) Natalie Simon (Alicia Witt) in Urban Legend (1998)
This one pains me, because I actually really like Alicia Witt. It took a few years after Urban Legend for me to like her though. I honestly think she grew into a pretty wonderful actress. But no matter how much like I have for her, I will always hate her character in Urban Legend. Every other character is more interesting than Natalie. She's just kinda there. The rest of the cast seems to be having so much more fun with it: Rebecca Gayheart, Michael Rosenbaum, Tara Reid, Josh Jackson, Loretta Devine, Robert Englund. Even Jared "I don't want to be here" Leto.

An excerpt from my original review after its theatrical release:
'Leading lady Alicia Witt is a bit disappointing. While other films had the likes of Neve Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt heading up the cast, Alicia isn't able to keep her character interesting. Her co-stars Rebecca Gayheart, Tara Reid and Michael Rosenbaum are much more entertaining to watch.'

Looking back, I was being kind. Also, why was I giving Jennifer Love Hewitt props for I Know What You Did Last Summer? Her character, Julie James, could be on this list! Anyways, there's a line that always makes me cringe. Natalie says something like 'Someone is taking all these stories and making them reality.' The delivery of that line is just awful. Is it the screenplay? Is it Witt? I don't know, but I know enough to put Natalie on the third spot of my list.

2) Cassie (Melissa Sagemiller) in Soul Survivors (2001)
I have only seen Soul Survivors once, a long time ago, when it was a new rental at my videostore. While time has softened my hate for the movie a bit, I only have to look at my original review to stop me from checking it out again. It's starts with the following sentence: 'Sorry, but this is just crap.' And then I think of Melissa Sagemiller as Cassie and I'm totally cured of the thought of watching Soul Survivors. 'Sagemiller is a terrible actress, who isn't interesting enough to carry a film.' I didn't go into detail in my review and I don't remember Cassie very well, but my strong dislike has remained over the past 8 years.

I also hated Sagemiller in the comedy Sorority Boys, but was kinder when she did Get Over It: 'Melissa Sagemiller as Alison is okay. She seems less bland than she was in movies like Soul Survivors and Sorority Boys.' So I guess that's it. Sagemiller was bland in SS and that's not the kind of quality you want in your Final Girl. She has to be the kind of girl you want to root for!

1) Julia Lund (Laura Regan) in They (2002)
To see how deep my hate goes, you really have to read my original review:

'When Billy (Jon Abrahams) and his friend Julia (Laura Regan) were little, they used to be afraid of monsters, which they called, well, They. Years later, Billy’s still afraid. He calls Julia, they meet up, and he kills himself. Julia starts seeing Them again, and when she comes in contact with Billy’s friends Sam (Ethan Embry) and Terry (Dagmara Dominczyk), she finds out she’s not the only one. Will They get her?
For the love of GOD I hope the answer is YES! Laura Regan has to be the worst actress EVER. And I’m not the kind of person who would say that, but people who are claiming that Tara Reid is awful, have obviously not seen this movie. Laura Regan is the worst actress EVER! I thought Alicia Witt was cringe-worthy, but this is horrible.'

I have never softened up to Regan or her performance. Regan also happened to be the Final Girl in My Little Eye (Bradley Cooper! Kris Lemche!), a movie I have rewatched a couple of times, and it just reinforces my hate for her in They.

I was checking reviews for They and I had to laugh when I read the following over at DarkHorizons: 'Weaker still are the performances. Laura Reagan is as bad as that chick from "Soul Survivors" - overacting and not very convincing at doing the hysterical "seeing things" routine.' I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way.

Tell me, who are your least favorite Final Girls?

1 comment:

Matt said...

Thank you! I actually just watched My Little Eye and I feel the same way about Laura Regan. I literally screamed at the TV once "PLEASE kill her!" I also remember hating her in They. It's a shame because My Little Eye was actually a pretty good little horror movie, but she makes it hard to watch at times. In this case, I'd definitely say it's the actress I dislike (very much), not the character (if you can only choose one, that is). And she looks like a freaking alien. Than neck and head. Yeesh.