Final Girls

I learned about strong women from horror movies. Yes, the same movies that rejoiced in half naked co-eds getting stabbed, killed anyone who had sex, and made any excuse to get a beautiful young actress to take her top off.

The 1992 book Men, Women and Chainsaws: Gender in Modern Horror Film first introduced us to the concept of the Final Girl, the horror movie heroine, but I would discover her long before I had to read this book in my high school film class. I loved horror and devoured scary movies, books, and TV shows every chance I got. My older brother and I were given free reign on what media we could consume and as a result spent most of our time picking out anything that looked gory or cool from our local Blockbuster. As an impressionable young girl, I was watching things like Nightmare On Elm Street, Halloween, Black Christmas and Scream and learning that women in movies, and women in real life, could be smart, compassionate, complicated and triumphant.

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