Posted by Alia Haddad on October 25, 2012 at 11:22 am
I unabashedly love Fall and, specifically, October as it gives me me perfect excuse to watch, talk about, and, as evidenced here, write about one of my most beloved genres of film: the horror. A devoted fan from early on, my childhood is sprinkled with memories of early Saturday mornings spent watching the Stephen-King-novels turned into made-for-tv-movies with my father. In college, I found myself taking a class that addressed this very topic using Edmund Burke’s The Sublime and The Beautiful as a means of analyzing the horror film in its earliest variations. Finally I was able to put my passion into words: it was the sublime (and beautiful turned sublime) that I loved and craved, and still do. And so, isn’t it fitting that for a “Chills…” post that falls right before Halloween, that I chose a horror film? Poetic, no?
And of all those horror films I love, there is a specific place in my heart for those that feature Final Girls–you know, the (mostly) virginal female character that outlives everyone and is responsible for taking down the villain. This generic trait that seems to originate most clearly in John Carpenter’s 1978 horror-film-mainstay Halloween. Hit movies that followed such as A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the Thirteenth then perfected this trait. What’s more chill-worthy than a Final Girl standing at the end of a movie, having just slain her opposer?! Nothing, if you ask me.
Wes Craven’s 1996 genre classic (and one of my all time favorite films, even making my “Top 5″ list), Scream, makes use of the Final Girl trope, almost perfecting it. It is the final scene in Scream, which I turn our attention to now. It has just been revealed that Sydney’s boyfriend and his friend have killed her mother the year prior and have been terrorizing Sydney and her friends for the past week. The scene begins when Sydney sneaks past her captors and hides in the closet a la Jamie Lee Curtis in this film’s predecessor, Halloween (notice the meta-ness as that closet scene plays on a living room T.V. during this epic blowout)–a great beginning to a final scene. And it ends with not one, but two Final Girls, neither of them virgins. Revolutionary! And not to mention chill-inducing.
Watch the scene below: