About the Final Girl Reviews

“A Final Girl,” generic iteration; Halloween 2019

The Final Girl is a horror movie trope referring to the female protagonist who confronts the killer in the third act, the sole survivor left to tell the story after her counterparts are picked off. The term was coined by Carol J. Clover in her 1992 book, Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film, and originally had a much different take than what we see onscreen today. While many classic Final Girls found themselves in survival mode, stumbling to the last scene based on luck and instinct, modern films often seek to empower these protagonists much more, characterizing them with clever personalities and inherent strength to willingly fight back against the monster.

The Final Girl Reviews is devoted to all things horror. Launched in 2021, I began it as a place to house spooky recommendations for my friends, and I’ve since expanded it to be a repository of reviews, lists, editorials, and dissections. Whether you’re a horror novice or aficionado, there is likely something you’ll find here to freak yourself out.

“Little Red Riding Hood” confronting the Big Bad Wolf with an axe; Halloween 2021

Scoring System
Each work is scored by quality on a scale of one to five bloody knives. Half-point ratings are illustrated in a fallen knife with no blood. Further explanations unavailable.

Scare Level System
Each work is scored on scariness with a scale of one to three screaming emojis. One scream indicates something that the majority can handle (with the expectation that it is a work of horror), two screams indicates something that may prompt viewers to cover their eyes, and three screams will unnerve horror lovers and possibly traumatize those who don’t like be to scared.

Triggers are valid. When available, content warnings are provided by DoesTheDogDie (DDD) and linked in the end of each review. Be sure to check the link before viewing if there is a risk of triggering—be advised that DDD often contains spoilers, but exact details are hidden until you click.

“Nancy Thompson” from Nightmare on Elm Street; Halloween 2022

Unless specified as a “GUEST POST,” every article is written by me, Melaina K. de la Cruz. Images are taken from trailers and IMDB image galleries; credits are given in captions to the actors and production companies.

About Me
My name is Melaina K. de la Cruz, and I’m a writer, editor, and Spooky Scorpio Rising. I’ve been watching scary movies since I was a little kid and writing scary stories since I could use a pen. I have a degree from Columbia College Chicago in creative nonfiction writing and studied horror writing in-depth under Mort Castle (author of Dracula: Writer’s Digest Annotated Classic and The Strangers, and editor of On Writing Horror.) In 2015, I had my self-produced audio documentary about my fear of clowns aired on WCRX and KFAI; in 2018, my short story As We Rot was published in Ink Stains, Volume 7: A Dark Fiction Literary Anthology. Aside from writing this blog, I work as a B2B magazine editor and journalist in Chicago, Illinois.

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