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This week, we celebrate Women’s History Month and honor the women of horror by watching some iconic final girl performances.

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At AlethalWeaponArt, movies (particularly horror) are a huge part of our life — and our business — so we take time to celebrate the art of film every day. Follow along with us to see what we watched each week. We will tell you if it’s worth watching or if you should skip it altogether and why.

Editor’s Note:

Women’s History Month has its roots in a local celebration that took place in Santa Rosa, California in 1978. By 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued the first presidential proclamation recognizing National Women’s History Week. Congress followed suit later that year with a resolution establishing a national celebration. In 1987, Congress officially designated March as National Women’s History Month.

But why does it matter? Here’s a glimpse into the current state of women’s representation in film, illustrating the continuing gap in gender parity in front of and behind the camera:

  • On Screen: There’s a decline in female characters with speaking roles, dropping from 37% in 2022 to 35% in 2023.
  • Lead Roles: The percentage of films with female protagonists also dipped, going from 33% in 2022 to 28% in 2023.
  • Overall Portrayal: Films are more likely to feature more male characters with speaking roles than female characters (77% to 23%).
  • Behind the Scenes: Women hold only 26% of key roles like directors, writers, and producers.

To celebrate Women’s History Month, we decided to watch some final girls. Unsurprisingly, the women did not disappoint.

Horror Films

1. SCREAM (1996)

OUR FAVORITE OF THE WEEK!

Scream (1996) is such a classic. Directed by Wes Craven, this masterpiece is the perfect satirical slasher whodunnit — the first of its kind. It’s truly hilarious and frightening throughout with relatable characters.

With actors including Courtney Cox, Matthew Lillard, and Skeet Ulrich, the cast is iconic. Neve Campbell stars as the badass Final girl Sidney Prescott. We watch as her friends are hunted down by a masked killer dubbed “Ghostface” in their sleepy town of Woodsboro.

Sidney faces a lot throughout the film, and you really root for her as a character. Her mother was murdered within the last year, and she has possibly the least understanding boyfriend of all time. Not to mention, she has to contend with a murderer on the loose.

Scream is a blast every time — exactly what a horror movie should be and perfect for any movie night.

Recommended; watch it on MAX.

2. SCREAM (2022)

Set 25 years after a string of terrible murders in Woodsboro, a new killer adopts the Ghostface mask and begins targeting a group of teenagers.

Scream (2022) paid great respects to the original and to Wes Craven himself. It also has some BRUTAL kills and injuries that we loved to see and keeps you guessing along the way. Full of homages to the original, this film is well-written, hilarious, and meta as hell. We loved it.

Strong female leads in the group make this one really fun to watch, and the fight scenes are intense. Melissa Barrera does some serious damage as Sam. Jasmin Savoy Brown killed it in her role as Mindy, the movie nerd of the group. We loved watching her throughout, and she was a great representation of the LGBTQ+ community. Jenna Ortega, as Tara, also survives the slaughter with just a few injuries, earning herself a well-deserved place at the survivor’s table.

Watch these women kick some ass and track down the killer with the help of a few familiar faces in this fifth installment of the Scream Franchise.

KILL OF THE WEEK: The throat stab in Scream!
Recommended; watch it on Hulu or Paramount Plus.

3. X (2022)

Mia Goth and Jenna Ortega  co-star in this sexy slow burn horror film.

Filled with tension and beautiful shots, X follows a group of young people making an adult film when they run into trouble. With plenty of unsettling scenes and images, Ti West does a great job creating and holding a creepy tone throughout.

When the elderly owners of the farm house the film crew are renting turn out to be a little sinister, Mia Goth’s character is the last one standing. She fights to stay alive and escapes in a daring and bold fashion, earning her fierce final girl status.

This is a fun one to watch with your significant other or a friend, but DO NOT watch it with family — it’s called X for a reason; there is a good amount of nudity.

Recommended; watch it on Netflix.

4. ALIEN (1979)

Sigourney Weaver stars in this iconic sci fi horror film directed by Ridley Scott, and she is one of the most badass final girls out there.

Ripley exhibits physical strength, agility, and intelligence. These traits help her endure and survive the terror. They are also why she is one of the most iconic final girls in horror. She doesn’t just survive, she fights back and wins.

Alien is shot so beautifully, the tension builds perfectly, and you can sense the anxiety the characters are feeling through the camera work. The score sets the tone for each scene, and the vibe is dark, chilling, and ominous throughout.

Alien is great if you’re in the mood for a slower-paced, spooky space flick; it gets better with every rewatch!

Recommended; watch on Hulu or Peacock Premium.

5. HAPPY DEATH DAY (2017)

Jessica Rothe gives a great performance as Tree in Happy Death Day, a morbidly dark take on Groundhog’s Day.

Tree is forced to relive her birthday and is killed over and over by an unknown masked villain until she finds out why. This movie is witty, dark, and fun. The kills are great; there are a lot of them, and they get pretty creative.

Our final girl, Tree, beats death more than once and ultimately solves her own murder. She is a badass. As a bonus, she grows as a person throughout the film, making her more relatable.

Happy Death Day is worth a watch if you’re looking for a fun light vibe with lots of kills and thrills. 

Recommended; watch it on Fubo or rent on VOD.

6. THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (1974)

We end with one of the earliest examples of a final girl in horror. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is gritty, brutal, and terrifying in the best ways.

Sally Hardesty (Marilyn Burns) is held captive and tortured by Leatherface and his family. Sally is a great screamer; she basically wails the whole time she’s got a real set of lungs on her. Trapped in an almost hopeless situation, she beats the odds with her escape. She makes an iconic jump out of a window and books it far enough to get a ride out just in the nick of time.

The remastered version is literally beautiful and enhances the experience so much.

This is great if you’re looking for something dark and disturbing — or if you just want to fill in some gaps in your horror history by watching an absolute classic of the genre and one of the earliest slasher films.

Recommended; watch it on Shudder, Tubi, Peacock, or several other platforms..

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