Spoilers follow ...
- Final Girl review by NP
This is a revenge/slasher film with a difference. It is a very strange series of events presented in a deceptively straightforward way. Why do a group of well-groomed young men lure young blonde girls into a forest and murder them? It is implied they killed the parents of Veronica (Abigail Breslin, who was 16 when this was made). It is also implied they killed the wife and daughter of William (Wes Bentley), who becomes a surrogate parent to Veronica. How did they get away with these, and other, murders when their activities are so blatant and notorious and they make no effort to disguise themselves? Also, these high-class killers would surely have been nothing more than children when they killed Veronica’s parents.
Why does William take the trouble to manipulate Veronica by training her to be an efficient killer in order to despatch these lads when he could just as well do the deed himself, or simply inform the police? Equally, the pack find nothing suspicious in meeting a young lady so naïve as to agree to a date with four young men she doesn’t know. As the audience, we are either not expected to wonder about such things, or the writers consider such questions unimportant.
The moody atmospherics of the piece distracts from the lack of details and gives a faintly surreal quality to events. The gang take time to get to know Veronica whilst sitting on rackety chairs and sofas in impressively backlit woods.
There are vagaries and elements that could have been explained more, and the pacing could have been more involving. But I don’t see these things as lapses or plot-holes, rather-more deliberate artistic decisions that stop the film from ever getting all ‘cosy’ or familiar in its telling. A choice has also been made to ensure this is gore-free, despite the expectations a film with this premise attracts. It is almost as if the production distances itself from the story being told. The results are pleasingly odd.
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