@MsLauraHall heaps the love on her favourite final girl…
What makes a good Final Girl? Is it bravery? Intelligence? A great big pair of tits? For my money, I just want a Final Girl that I wouldn’t mind going for a beer with.
For this reason, my favourite Final Girl is Ginny from Friday 13th Part 2.
A niche choice? Perhaps, but lets look at some of the other contenders. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Sally’s primary characteristic is her ability to escape. Halloween’s Laurie is a boring prudish teenager, the type of girl who probably only eats half of a chocolate bar and gets way too into the tennis. And don’t get me started on A Nightmare on Elm Street’s Nancy, the girl who turns down sex with Johnny Depp so she can listen to her friends have sex. Yes, you did read that right. Hell, even Freddie got more bedroom action with Depp.
It’s not that these other girls don’t strike a chord. It’s just that they strike a dull chord that belongs in a funeral dirge, or a Coldplay song. Put it this way: if you need a serial killer to make you interesting, you’re probably not all that interesting.
The same can’t be said of Ginny Field. From the moment she appears on screen, she sets herself apart as a force to be reckoned with. She arrives at camp – late, naturally – has no qualms about interrupting her boyfriend’s precious speech and is not averse to making fun of her boyfriend, right before she kisses him.
That’s not to describe her as “sassy” or “feisty” or any other patronising adjective we throw at women who dare to be interesting (“spunky”, anyone?). Yes, she is strong, but will often defer to her boyfriend. She’s smart, but she’s also a bit of a flake. She is a fully rounded character in a way that many Final Girls aren’t. Final Girls can be heroes, or damsels in distress, or naïve ingénues – but a well-adjusted regular girl?
Ginny drinks, she tells dorky jokes, she has sex. She is a normal, functioning human being. She is even allowed to pee! Because of her humanity, we don’t just root for her when the pressure is on, as we do with other Final Girls; we are rooting for her right from the moment she steps out of her red convertible
Actress Amy Steel declined to return for part 3, which meant Ginny never outstayed her welcome in the franchise. However, many modern horror films feel indirectly influenced by her. The women of Neil Marshall’s The Descent are as likeable as they are badass. Directors Ti West and Adam Wingard both prioritise character development above the body count. Modern horror heroines are a lot more fun to be around than their 80s predecessors – but Ginny Field will always remain one of the first fun Final Girls.
Images: Fridaythe13thwikia.com & i95rock.com