Abigail Breslin portrays a young would be assassin trained from childhood by her mentor (Wes Bentley), who is assigned the task of killing a bunch of tuxedo wearing high school sadists that every night hunt young blond women for sport. This is her first assignment where she will be flying solo as they say and she must use were wits to lure in and single handedly defeat each boy. Final Girl was directed by renowned celebrity photographer Tyler Shields, who wanted to make a thriller without any CGI and instead used evocative lighting and atmosphere to bring the surreal world to life. Visually the forest scenes look great and there are some bizarre instances where characters imagine seeing things they think are in the forest to torment them that lend gravitas to the film. The problem here is while Shields creates a stylized world of barren training grounds, nostalgic diners, and spooky moonlit woods, the story suffers from a lack of meaningful momentum. We know very little to practically nothing about Breslin's or Bentley's characters and we know even less about the boys other than they pick up and target young blonds out of what appears to be the same diner over and over again while wearing tuxedos and then take them into a clearing where they give the girl a head start while the boys, who one must keep in mind are still wearing immaculate tuxedos, follow each with their weapon of choice.
One boys uses a bat, another carries an axe, one carries a gun while the other seems to prefer using his bear hands to strangle the woman they are preying upon. How no one would have caught these for teenage murderers by now is never explained. They certainly stick out like soar thumbs. They constantly follow the same routine too. Instead they are basically singled out to be hunted by Beslin's character as her graduation assignment. Thus there is really not much to like or care about here because the film's title says it all. Last Girl. If she fails then she will be another victim. However since we know little about her and her trainer, we can root for her to beat the boys and the film further takes the challenge out of the scenario and puts the odds in her favor early on so the killers really never have a chance and the viewer always know the girl will be triumphant. What would have been more interesting is to have her capture the boys and bring them to justice instead of just killing them one by one with the help of psychedelics the killers have no idea they have ingested.
So the boys hallucinate and Breslin's character takes them out one by one and that is basically it. No revelation or payoff. Just a straight flat line with a slither of a story and flat characters. Final Girl is nothing but style over substance with the exception of Abigail Breslin's performance. She can look scared and make it believable without coming off like a scream queen. Bentley just sleep walks his way through the film and his talent seems wasted.
Final Girl will open both theatrically and on Video On Demand on August 14, 2015.
(C) Copyright 2015 By Mark Rivera
All Rights Reserved.
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