A group blog for Introduction to Media Criticism at NYU, Fall 2009.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Death to the Final Girl
Sarah Trencansky's article, "Final Girls and Terrible Youth: Trangression in 1980's Slasher Horror" introduces the concept of the Final Girl. The Final Girl is defined as a girl "who recognizes the horror surrounding her and fights back against her attacker and defeats him, typically single-handedly" (p. 64). The Final Girl is often seen as the other and actually seems to identify with the villain. Furthermore,Trencansky argues the differences between the Final Girl of the 80's and the the Final Girl of the 90's by stating that the "1980's Final Girl actively invaded the monster's private wold...[while the] heroine of the 1990's stumbles into random violence" (p.72). If this is true, then what is there to say of the so-called Final Girl of the 2000's? I believe that a great example of this is none other than Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Not only did Buffy kick vampire ass all across Sunnydale, but she did so with companions. Buffy had a whole team of friends supporting her vampire and demon killing missions, including a wonderful father figure (Rupert Giles) guiding her; something the Final Girl of the 80's and 90's lacked. Moreover, Buffy did not invade the villains' world like her 80's contemporaries, rather they were a natural part of her world. She also did not identify with them, she just knew it was her job to get rid of them. The "Final Girl" of the 2000's seems to be much more empowered than the girls of the both the 80's and 90's, she has friends, family and can kill any supernatural creature that gets in her way.