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TIFF Report: The Final Girls

Who’s in it: Taissa Farmiga, Nina Dobrev, Malin Akerman, Alexander Ludwig, Alia Shawkat, Thomas Middleditch, Adam DeVine

Who’s behind it: Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson, written by M.A. Fortin and Joshua John Miller

Who’ll love it: Horror and comedy fans (preferably horror-comedy fans) who are down for a meta deconstruction of cheesy ’80s slasher movies, namely Friday the 13th.

What it’s about: The daughter of a late scream queen is magically transported into her mom’s most celebrated B-movie—an amusingly awful sleepaway slasher called Camp Bloodbath—and has to face off against a deadly Jason Vorhees knockoff who wears a creepy mask and swings a giant machete.

Why you should see it: The more you know about crappy ’80s movies, the more you’ll get out of this very funny and super-duper inventive riff on retro slasher tropes. Don’t go into The Final Girls looking for blood-curdling terror—the film is far more silly than scary. But what it lacks in creative kills and overall dread, it more than makes up for with witty, self-reflexive banter from its rock-solid cast and clever genre send-ups like black and white flashbacks, interactive subtitles, a trademark synth score, a very familiar sound effect, and hilariously stock camp counselors who are just begging to die. It’s also got a big, bloody heart to boot.

When you can see it: Saturday, September 19 at Ryerson as the closing—er, final, Midnight Madness film, and Sunday, September 20 at Scotiabank Theatre. Tickets available here. Opens in select theatres, On Demand, and Digital HD October 9—perfect for Halloween!

Watch the trailer here, and check out the poster below:

the final girls