Although the Final Girl dates back to some of the earliest slasher films, the actual concept wasn’t fully refined or named until 1992. Author Carol J. Clover coined the words “Final Girl” in her book Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film. However, Clover had a fairly narrow definition of what a Final Girl could be. And while the initial Final Girls had to be morally superior, chaste, and virginal, modern heroines don’t have to follow those rules anymore. Nowadays, the Final Girls are often their own heroes, and they don’t need anyone else to save them.
On Friday, Oct. 19, one of the most famous Final Girls is making her big screen comeback in Halloween. Jamie Lee Curtis is reprising her role as Laurie Strode, and she’s going to get her rematch with the infamous Michael Myers. In honor of Laurie’s return, SYFY WIRE’s FANGRRLS is taking a look back at the history of the Final Girl. Naturally, Laurie is one of the featured heroines, and she’s not alone.
To kick things off, we’re revisiting Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Janet Leigh’s Vivian Crane still gets most of the attention for her unforgettable shower murder scene. But it’s Vivan’s sister, Lila Crane (Vera Miles) who emerged as one of the first Final Girls when she survived a harrowing confrontation with Norman Bates’ “Mother.”
The most intriguing thing about these Final Girls is that that each one is the product of their era. Scream’s Sidney Prescott even got to shatter the myth of virginal survivors by becoming one of the few horror heroines to not only survive her sexual awakening, but to take down the killer or killers almost entirely by herself.
For more tidbits from the history of the Final Girl, check out the entire video. Then leave a comment for us below!