“Final girls have names that go both ways, AC/DC, and maybe that’s a social shield or something, keeps them virgins longer than the rest of us. Ripley, Blake, Mandy.”
My second read this month that explores the concept of the well-known trope final girls. This novel by Stephen Graham Jones is a love note to classic slasher films and the rules they follow.
Written with screenplay elements, The Last Final Girl is a style of book that you are unlikely to have read before, although it may take you a few pages to get used to it. The screenplay elements even make their way into the chapter titles/layout, with them being named Act 1, etc.
In the vein of teen slashers, we open with a final girl surviving the massacre of her school friends, and the following few days in which our murderer makes their presence known throughout the town. Unlike classic slasher films, however, we don’t follow final girl Lindsay, but the outcast group at her high school. The ones who are well versed in all things classic horror, with a smart-arse attitude to alongside this knowledge.
Stephen Graham Jones clearly has a lot of love for classic slasher films, in particular the self-aware nature of Scream and their sequels. In fact, the main character, Izzy, is extremely vocal about how their story is going to play out based on films she has seen. Stephen Graham Jones has a large array of books that capture dark humour in an experimental horror setting. My next read of his will be The Only Good Indians and I am very much looking forward to giving it a try!
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